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Downtown Main Street renovations now eligible for more state dollars

A stretch of Main Street in downtown Buffalo is now eligible for additional state money to fund renovation and redevelopment projects in the business district.

The Better Buffalo Fund's Buffalo Main Streets Initiative – part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo Billion – has been used through three prior rounds to support projects in 20 commercial corridors in the city, including another section of Main Street.

But the downtown area of Main had not previously been included until now, according to officials at Buffalo Place, the nonprofit downtown business improvement district. The fourth and latest round of Better Buffalo Fund grants will now extend those opportunities to building owners and projects on Main between Seneca and Mohawk streets, not including Seneca One tower.

Grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 are now available for nonprofits and neighborhood business groups, which can then funnel the money to individual projects.

That's similar to the separate New York Main Street program that already exists under New York State Homes and Community Renewal, but which applies to downtown commercial corridors in cities, towns and villages across the state – including Buffalo. In fact, the state agency administers both funds.

Buffalo Place has already participated several times as a conduit for funds in the New York Main Street program. The latest group of applicants is currently winding through environmental and historic preservation reviews.

Other areas previously included in the program included the Allentown, Bailey, Broadway/Fillmore, Chippewa Street, East Delavan, Elmwood Village, Fillmore/MLK, Grant/Amherst, Grant/Ferry, Hertel, Jefferson Avenue, Kaisertown, Lovejoy, Lower Niagara/Lakeview, Seneca-Caz, South Park, Tonawanda/Ontario, Upper Niagara Street and Connecticut Street corridors.

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