Six Western New York projects across two counties – including the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority's redevelopment of the Commodore Perry Projects – will receive $12.8 million in Restore New York grants, as part of nearly $150 million in awards statewide.
In the largest component, Empire State Development Corp. will provide $4 million to the City of Buffalo to demolish 24 blighted buildings with 330 vacant and uninhabitable apartments at 448 South Park Ave. and 339 Perry St. That's the Perry projects, where the BMHA and a developer are planning to replace the aging and unusable residences with 415 new affordable housing units.
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Other awards include:
- The Town of Cheektowaga will receive $2.57 million for the Harlem Villa Commons project, which will demolish three empty buildings, combine seven properties and build a five-story, 93-unit affordable housing complex with 1,500 square feet of new commercial space.
- Erie County will get $2.5 million to rehab a vacant property, including by adding another floor and creating new retail space at unidentified sites along Main Street.
- The City of Lockport will use $2 million to support Savarino Companies' restoration of the former Farmers and Mechanics (F&M) Building at 116 Main St. and the adjacent one-story mall at 120 Main. Plans call for 30 new apartments, plus first-floor commercial space.
- The Village of Angola will get $1.27 million for its Main Street Revitalization Project, to rehabilitate the 5,860-square-foot former Angola Theater at 72 N. Main St., which has been vacant since 2020. The village will also rehab the former Town Hall at 42 N. Main St. and convert it into five affordable apartments and two first-floor retail spaces, after 30 years of vacancy.
- The City of North Tonawanda will spend $460,000 for a project at 230 Oliver St, involving "an iconic building at a key gateway." Plans include two first-floor commercial spaces and four market-rate one-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors.
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In all, the state awarded $146 million through the Restore New York Communities Initiative, including $112.9 million to 70 projects designed to reinvigorate downtowns and generate new economic opportunity and another $33.6 million for special projects in four municipalities to transform "highly visible blighted property."
"These Restore New York grants will help to reimagine downtowns across our state and transform vacant, blighted and underutilized buildings into vibrant community anchors," said Gov. Kathy Hochul. "We are breathing new life into communities from Hudson to North Hempstead, jumpstarting new economic activity and helping ensure that New York State continues to be a place where people come to live, work and raise their families."
The new state budget includes another $50 million for Restore New York.
"The Restore New York Communities Initiative provides vital funding to help our municipal partners find creative ways to redevelop and transform neighborhoods into areas that uplift their communities after years of decay," said Empire State Development CEO Hope Knight. "Restore New York tackles urban blight head-on, allowing for new possibilities that spurs local economic development efforts for years to come."