fix buffalo today, archive

a view from recently demolished 669 Genesee Street

Smart City...

I totally missed this recent segment...listen here!

Even America's most depressed downtowns are showing vigorous signs of life. It's a surprising development no one predicted in the bleak years of the 1970's and 80's when many so-called experts dismissed the idea of downtown revitalization as wishful thinking in the age of surburbanization.

  • Dave Feehan, who heads the International Downtown Association, is here to tell us how downtowns have defied predictions and come back strong. David has devoted more than 35 years to rebuilding and revitalizing cities, directing downtown programs in Des Moines, Detroit, and Kalamazoo, and neighborhood development programs in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis.
  • Also with us is Dennis Maher, a sculptor working in Buffalo who brings new life to abandoned buildings by using the waste of other restoration projects. Dennis defines his work as "afterlives, the attempt to renew and to give another life to the wasted remains of a city." Dennis is an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo.
Listen to host Carol Colletta - list of additional stations/times - 7pm Sunday on WNED - 970 in Buffalo, NY. Past Shows are archived and the newsletter is published regularly.

Napa adds to renewal of Michigan- Genesee area

Auto parts retailer in ex-Anthone store

News Staff Reporter

A long-idle retail storefront at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Genesee Street downtown has come back to life as a Napa Auto Parts store, joining a growing list of fresh investment in that neighborhood.

"It's a prime location with lots of potential customers," said Dave Jemiolo, manager of the company-owned Napa store that debuted this week. "Our corporate people looked at several locations downtown and took into account the redevelopment that is happening and how everything is moving upward."

The new Napa store, the company's third Buffalo location, fills space vacated in 1993 by Anthone Furniture, which had occupied the building for 74 years. The site was briefly used as a nightclub, but has sat boarded up most of the past decade.

Jemiolo said the turn-of-the-century building's unique characteristics, including interior support pillars, required a one-of-a-kind store layout.

"Napa stores are pretty much cookie cutter with everything predetermined, but this was the exact opposite. Everything had to be customized to fit into the space and around the pillars. It gives it a lot of character and a nostalgic feel," he said.

Another non-standard touch is the exterior wall mural that rises above the store on the adjoining building. Napa hired local artist Blair Rusin to come up with a 1930s scene of a bustling downtown Buffalo to give the site additional flair.

"It shows Buffalo at the height of greatness, lots of activity. Hopefully that's where things are headed again," Jemiolo said.

Napa's investment and unexpected flair has not gone unnoticed by neighboring business Quermback Electric Inc., located across the intersection at 215 Genesee St. Operating continuosly at the site since the 1940s, Quermback spent several years as the sole business at that corner.

"We've stuck it out down here from the good times to the bad," said Brian Radzwill, vice president of the family-owned electric supply company.

Over the decades Quermback morphed its operation from a full-service electric store with consumer showrooms to a company whose primary customer base is now the professional building trades. As neighboring businesses closed and foot traffic fell, it adjusted its hours to eliminate evening and Saturday sales.

Quermback now relies heavily on a small fleet of trucks to speed electric fixtures and supplies around the the city, the suburbs and beyond.

"We were doing fine without other businesses around us, but it was a nice surprise to hear what Napa was up to," Radzwill said. "It was great to see the boards come down off the building."

Napa may be the first new retailer in the neighborhood in decades, but it isn't the only new life. In recent months the Maritime and Pinnacle charter schools have both moved into renovated light industrial space near the corner of Michigan Avenue and Genesee Street.

A new medical facility project just saw groundbreaking on the northwest corner of the intersection which will bring nearly $5 million in capital investment, plus patient traffic.

The neighborhood also sits between the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to the north, and the emerging Michigan Avenue cultural tourism corridor to the south.

"This is another clear, in-your-face indication that our city is healing and improving," said Mayor Anthony M. Masiello. "That was a tough corner not that long ago and practically overnight there's a diverse mix of retail, medical, educational and cultural investment."

100 Churches May Shut, Merge

Catholic Diocese faces precipitous drop in number of priests

By JAY TOKASZ News Staff Reporter11/8/2005

As many as 100 churches in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo would have to be closed or merged to bring the diocese in line with others of similar population, geographic size and priest numbers.
Diocesan officials said they don't know yet how many churches would be targeted for closing or merger.

But some members of a diocesan planning commission acknowledged during interviews with The Buffalo News that they anticipate anywhere from 60 to 100 parishes could be consolidated or closed over the next two to three years - in anticipation of a precipitous drop in the number of priests available to staff churches.

More than a third of diocesan priests are scheduled to retire in the next decade.

Diocesan officials forecast 142 diocesan priests will be available in 2015, down from 234 diocesan priests who are currently active in ministry. The diocese of about 700,000 Catholics in eight counties has 274 parishes and missions.

Diocesan officials, who launched a two-year restructuring process over the summer, have emphasized repeatedly that they won't know how many churches will be closed or merged until all parishes have had an opportunity to review themselves over the next several months.
"It's too early in the process," said spokesman Kevin A. Keenan. "We just don't have that."
Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, nonetheless, explained in a meeting with priests that dioceses with similar populations and priest numbers on average have 80 to 100 fewer parishes than the Buffalo Diocese.

In its analysis, diocesan officials examined 18 other dioceses, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Hartford, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Some already have gone through a restructuring, notably Pittsburgh, which trimmed more than a third of its parishes.

"Some have done it well, and other dioceses have not done it so well, and the difference really is how involved the people are," said Sister Nancy Hoff, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Regional Community of Buffalo, and a member of the planning commission appointed by Kmiec .

Some commission members agreed that the diocese probably would have to consolidate at least 60 parishes and possibly as many as 100 in an effort to make the remaining parishes more vibrant.

"That would be reasonable to expect," said Debbie Brown, director of sacramental and liturgical life at St. John the Baptist parish in Lockport and a commission member.

Monsignor Leonard E. Biniszkiewicz, pastor of St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus and also a commission member, termed such a pruning "very reasonable" to expect.

"Whether that's going to be the reality in the end, I don't know," he said. "The commission has not come up with a plan that's already in effect or anything like that."

Biniszkiewicz said the diocese, even when it was flush with priests, was overbuilt with parishes.
Several far-flung rural parishes were established with the idea that they would grow. They continued on for years, often as a training ground for young priests, even though the growth often never happened.

"It was not irresponsible; it was just the age we lived in. It's a totally different story now," said Biniszkiewicz.

The diocese's plan for restructuring, called "Journey in Faith & Grace," moved into its second phase last month. Over the next year or so, clusters of parishes will develop recommendations for the future configuration of churches and schools within the cluster. Those recommendations will be forwarded to the planning commission by Jan. 1, 2007.

Diocesan officials and commission members emphasized that no parishes have been targeted for closure at this point.

And some commission members weren't as convinced about widespread closures.
"I don't know whether the solution is always closing parishes. I'm sure some will, but there are other creative things to do," Hoff said.

The priest shortage isn't the only reason for the diocesan-wide restructuring.

To illustrate, diocesan officials have unveiled reams of statistics, available at the diocesan Web site,

Average weekend Mass attendance is down 15 percent since 1995; baptisms and marriages are down 41 percent and 34 percent, respectively, in that same time period; and the number of registered Catholic households has fallen 8 percent.

"Even if we had enough priests, even if money wasn't an issue, we still need a spiritual renewal," said Brown. "The statistics are alarming, but it's saying we're not getting the job done and people aren't coming. We need to be more spirit-led."

Nearly two-thirds of priests currently assigned to Catholic churches in the City of Buffalo either will be retired or serving in suburban or rural parishes within the next decade, according to diocesan projections.

The diocese has 50 priests working in 58 parishes in the city. That number would decrease to 18 priests by 2015, based on a model that diocesan officials are examining for how they might staff churches in the future.

The model is based on average weekend attendance in geographic segments of the diocese called vicariates.

The city, which is no longer predominantly Catholic, would see the biggest loss of pastors in those forecasts.

The projections are part of a list of guidelines developed by the planning commission.
The 28 pages of guidelines feature a "checklist" of indicators that parishioners should consider when determining whether a church is vibrant enough to continue.

The checklist asks rural parishes if they have at least 100 active families; urban parishes, at least 500 active families; and suburban parishes, at least 1,000 active families.

It also inquires whether the church is at least two-thirds full for each weekend liturgy.

"We have to start evaluating our parishes, and that, as far as I'm concerned, is saying to every single parish in the Diocese of Buffalo, do we have the right to exist?" Biniszkiewicz said. "As we do this now, hopefully we will create the kind of parishes where this need not happen again."
related posts: "Annals of Neglect"

BN 10/13/05 Artspace

Invigorating Main St. pulse, old factory will be new haven for artists to live, work
News Staff Reporter

A project offering low-income, loft-style living and work spaces for artists - the most ambitious to be undertaken in Buffalo - was formally unveiled Wednesday.

The 60-unit project will be in and behind the historic 1914 building that housed Buffalo Electric Vehicle Co., an automobile factory, at 1219 Main St. It is the 19th project by Artspace Projects, the nation's leading nonprofit developer of space for artists and arts organizations.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., who helped secure critical funding, was on hand at Kleinhans Music Hall to celebrate the project's launch.

It was the second stop on her visit to Buffalo on Wednesday, sandwiched between an endorsement of State Sen. Byron W. Brown, Democratic candidate for Buffalo mayor, and support for a state promotional campaign for apples.

"This arts project will bring new life and activity into Buffalo, and further enhance the city's reputation as a creative arts destination," Clinton said.

"The arts are an engine for economic development. They clearly are the means by which we revitalize neighborhoods, buildings and communities."

Mayor Anthony M. Masiello hailed Buffalo Artspace as one in a number of projects that are populating downtown through conversions of historic buildings into lofts, apartments and condominiums.

The mayor said he hoped that Artspace Buffalo would also be a catalyst for more development of industrial structures for artists' living and work spaces.

The design by lead project architect Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects calls for 36 units in the renovated brick factory, also known as the Breitweiser Building. It was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Sizes for the living/work spaces in the five-story building will range from studio to three-bedroom and feature 10-foot-tall windows and exposed concrete floors. The top four floors will be "hard loft" housing - flexible, multipurpose spaces without much trim or adornment, along with exposed masonry walls, ceiling structures and mechanical systems.

Twenty-four units are planned for a new building behind it that architect Matt Meier said will be "a hybrid industrial warehouse environment" that maintains the feel of a residential neighborhood.

Monthly rents will range from $450 to $895, including utilities. There also will be ground-floor commercial space for arts-compatible businesses.

The event brought an outpouring of local arts administrators seeking a glimpse of the Artspace design.

"The timing is really perfect, because we have so many new developments going on downtown," said Lawrence Brose, executive director of CEPA Gallery in the Market Arcade.

"People aren't waiting any longer for something to happen. They are just doing it, and that's really great."

Louis Grachos, director of Albright-Knox Art Gallery, said, "It's an exceptional project, and it's rewarding for me as a museum director to see initiatives like Artspace really taking over in Buffalo."

Clinton's and Masiello's help in bringing the project to Buffalo drew praise from Wendy Holmes, vice president of resource development for 26-year-old, Minneapolis-based Artspace. "We wish we could have this much support in our own back yard," she said.

The $16 million project - which includes $1.1 million from the private sector - is expected to open in December 2006. Interior work is scheduled to begin this December. For information, visit

Clinton also appeared Wednesday at a fund-raising event for Brown in his campaign office and joined Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, and officials from a trade association and JetBlue Airways in supporting a promotional campaign for New York State apples.


Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

Buffalo News October 11, 2005

Group to study vacant properties in Buffalo, three towns
News Business Reporter

Vacant and abandoned properties cause an unwelcome ripple effect, hurting property values and draining community resources.

A team of outside experts is trying to help Buffalo and three suburbs find solutions, mindful of the financial restraints the city and Erie County face. When their research is finished, they will recommend ideas that local decision makers can use to redevelop vacant properties, reclaim abandoned sites, and prevent others from falling into disrepair.

Experts with the National Vacant Properties Campaign recently visited Buffalo to interview a host of people who deal firsthand with the problem, through avenues like policymaking, the courts or nonprofit work.

Members of the assessment team will return later this month, to focus on vacant properties in Cheektowaga, Tonawanda and Amherst as part of the project's regional approach.

Joseph Schilling, the team's leader, concedes Buffalo is in a difficult position to tackle the problem, since the government is operating under a control board. But he said he was encouraged by the interest shown by the various stakeholders he and others in the group interviewed.

"There are a lot of people who are really committed to Buffalo," said Schilling, who is a professor at the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, Va. He recently completed other vacant-property assessments in Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio.

Enthusiasm alone won't solve the problem, but Schilling said such interest is essential to build momentum for change.

Four organizations are collaborating on the vacant properties campaign: the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), Smart Growth America, the International City/County Management Association and the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.

The University at Buffalo Institute of Local Governance and Regional Growth, and the Amherst Industrial Development Agency are co-sponsoring the project with LISC.

Buffalo was one of seven urban areas around the country chosen from a pool of more than 50 to participate in the National Vacant Properties Campaign project, as Buffalo copes with vacant properties spawned by population decline and urban flight.

Among the problems team members heard local officials say they want to resolve: how to take control of vacant or abandoned properties more quickly, before they fall into disuse, said Michael Clarke, program director of Buffalo LISC.

Another issue team members are researching: increasing coordination among different efforts in the region to deal with vacant properties, so that strategies don't overlap or work at cross purposes.

In other communities, the campaign has encouraged greater local collaboration as a path to success.

Since the study has a regional approach, the team members will also look at vacant properties in Amherst, Cheektowaga and Tonawanda.

"Everyone is coming to understand that this is an issue to deal with," Clarke said.

In Amherst, the problem is primarily chronically vacant or underused retail and commercial buildings. Tonawanda and Cheektowaga have some vacant homes, partly due to population shifts or because some properties have lost market appeal.

The team members plan to finish a draft report by the end of the year and expect to make a formal presentation of their ideas in spring 2006, Clarke said.

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq

Partners for a Livable WNY - Archive

Here's an archive of e-mail reports I recieve from George Grasser regarding reports and events involving Partners for a Livable Western New York.

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

Annals of Neglect...

"We'll have to be transparent, to make people feel
as if we're not concocting something behind their back."
- Bishop Kmiec
I'll be tracking Bishop Kmiec's "journey to avoid housing court" and matters relating to the catholic church's downsizing here in Buffalo, NY. I'll try to compare how other Catholic dioceses across the country deal with similar matters including abandoning inner-city property, “demolition by neglect” and housing court issues.

I think it would be interesting to compare "bishop's residences" in other cities experincing the Buffalo's decline and "detroitization" with the surrounding neighborhoods. When possible, it might be helpful to draw some correlations between the value of an average house and the value of the bishop's house. Said otherwise Bishop Kmiec...sell your Mansion, move into a rectory and lead by example. It's not that difficult.
Transfiguration Church - Interior DSCN1630 Buffalo's Old Orphan Home
And while Bishop Kmiec continues to reside at 79 Oakland Place, in the most expensive (highest assesment) residence in the City of Buffalo, it's helpful to remember what happens to former Catholic Church property when it's "flipped" to unsuspecting and irresponsible owners on Buffalo's east-side.

Writing and pictures appearing here on Fix Buffalo Today... Buffalo News - Articles, letters...
Diocesan Stuff...
Slide Shows...
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

Information about Post Office Relocation

I received the following notes from Allita Steward this afternoon regarding the PO 14209's relocation...

William Moncrief, Real Estate Specialist for the Northeast Facilities Service Center expressed the Post Office’s desire to expand its operations at the Buffalo, NY Station C Post Office. Postal regulations require that the USPS keeps the City of Buffalo and the local community advised as when expansion or relocation is under consideration. Due to a lack of available land adjacent to the existing facility or available space to reconfigure the interior of the facility, the existing location cannot be expanded to meet future operational requirements. The USPS plans to advertise for both an existing building and a site to construct a new facility. If we find that an existing building is not suitable, then they will construct a new facility.

Key People...

Timothy Wanamaker - Executive Director - Office of Strategic Planning
Room 920 City Hall
, New York 14202

Phone: (716) 851-5050
Fax: (716) 845-0172

Allita Steward - Community Planner - Office of Strategic Planning
Room 920 City Hall
, New York 14202

Phone: (716) 851-5050
Fax: (716) 845-0172

Local US Postal Service Personnel:

Victor C. Laudisio - Customer Relations Coordinator, U.S. Postal Service
1200 William St.
Room 200
, NY 14209-2407

Phone: (716) 846-2536
Fax: (716) 846-2407

Marvin Randolph - Customer Service Manager, U.S. Postal Service
1245 Main Street
, New York14209
Phone: (716) 883-8708

National US Postal Service Personnel:

William S. Moncrief - Real Estate Specialist
Northeast Facilities Service Office
6 Griffin Road North

, CT 06006-0300

Phone: (860) 285-7181
Fax: (860) 285-1287

Robert Lipman
- President
The Crown Partnership, Inc.
45 John Street, Suite 1011

New York
, NY 10038-3706

Phone: (212) 349-9400
Fax: (212) 843-8224

July 13th—Community Meeting Notes

The Postal Service has specified their preferences for the new post office location to have available:

  • 11K sq. Ft
  • 67- 73 parking spaces (to accommodate 21 customers, 28 employees, 16-21 postal vehicles)
  • A 1 story stand alone

The current location has a site area of 29,438 sq. ft. which includes:

  • 6550 sq. ft. Net floor space
  • 21k sq. ft. Parking and maneuvering
  • 159 sq. ft. Ramp and stairs
  • 205 sq. ft. Basement
  • 101 sq. ft. Dock and maneuvering
  • 423 sq. ft. Platform
  • Introduction of Marvin Randolph
  • 45 Day period started on June 28th
  • Site selection is being performed, site to be determined after 45 day period by the private site selector
  • City proposed sites to Crown Partnership
  • Owner of Buffalo Motor Lodge will sell for $2.2 million (unofficially, according to broker from Pyramid Brokerage)
  • Would eminent domain be used to take a property?
  • Leasing back the PO from a developer – are taxes paid to the city on property?
  • PO would like a 1 – Story, stand alone structure
  • Community wants Proper Urban Design consistent with the Transit District Overlay
      • 2 – story Post Office:
      • Back Bay in Boston
      • Potomac in DC
  • Loss of PO jobs to Rochester? Losses are typical of nationwide PO consolidation PO needs 11,000 sq/ft
  • Passports = $$
  • Customer Parking
  • Handicap Access
  • Dock Security
  • Dock Access – 6, 40ft vehicles a day, plus UPS
  • Interior parking for PO Jeeps – 21 vehicles
  • Balcom – possible traffic circle proposed by Bethel, still needs seed money
  • Main & Ferry – Willoby Insurance/1.6 Acres $500,000 (unofficial, according to broker from Pyramid Brokerage) Near the new Performing Arts High School
  • Jefferson Avenue
  • PO not married to Main Street
  • PO 1 mile, preferably ½ mile radius from current location
  • Gas station just beyond Utica
  • Just over an acre
  • Gas station contamination
      • City site-remediation reimbursed by the State
      • Very time consuming process
  • PO relocation ~ 18 months to opening in new location
  • Major cross street location?
  • Good for customer access
  • Safety-wise, not a problem
  • Houses behind a commercial property - Ferry & Main
      • Hold-out – would city take the property through eminent domain Federal government?
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul Building and Enterprise Car Rental site Large site
  • Need to relocate services provided on the site
  • Packard Building
      • Cash owns the homes behind the site also
  • Main & Ferry – Car wash and Glass place
  • Corner Building owned by Scot Fisher – owns Oxford to Main on Ferry
  • Urban Corner – when included with two other possible developments
  • CAO property at Dodge and Parade
  • Focus on Main & Ferry
      • $32 million is being spent at New Performing Arts High School
  • Upcoming Meetings
      • Wednesday July 20th, 2005 @ 6pm
      • Tuesday July 26th, 2005 @ 6pm

Same information covered at all three meetings, opportunity for all in community to participate.

July 20th -- Meeting Notes

  • Rundown of Post Office requirements
      • Locate within ½ mile radius of present location
      • Preference for Main Street
      • Current PO is 7333 sq/ft
      • New: 11,000 sq/ft
      • Parking – 67 stalls: 21 for customers, 28 for employees, 17/18 for PO vehicle parking
      • Preference for a 1-story “cookie cutter” structure
      • Based on community feedback, open for anything
      • PO Real Estate Department makes the final decision on location
      • PO is soliciting input from the community as to site locations
      • PO will advertise for site solicitation within 15 days
  • Councilman Thompson:
      • Push to locate PO on Jefferson Avenue
      • Requested map with locations of facilities in the city
      • Wondered if the East Side is underserved by PO locations
      • Jefferson Avenue is undergoing significant improvements, and the PO relocation could help keep the ball rolling
      • Possible Jefferson Avenue locations:
        • Jefferson and Woodlawn
        • Jefferson and Riley
        • Numerous city-owned properties at both corners
        • Maybe a small retail site on Jefferson?
        • Does not necessarily make sense financially to the PO
        • These are called ‘Contract Stations’
        • Invited all in attendance to a Breakfast Meeting on August 13th at the Delevan/Grider Center
  • Residents who live west of Main Street may not make the trip over to Jefferson Avenue
  • Possible traffic congestion on Jefferson with new developments there
  • Residents from west of Main Street who walk to the PO will probably not walk as far as Jefferson Avenue
  • Problems with routing PO delivery trucks to Jefferson Avenue
  • Possible PO site: Main and Harvard – currently the site of a parking lot
  • Can pull customers from both the west and east sides of Main Street as well as Canisius College students
  • Located closer to the Scajaquada Expressway (NY-198)
  • Could bring cross-Main Street residents together in one location
  • Could be impetus for strong corridor development between Delevan Avenue and Ferry Street
  • New PO location should be placed away from “nefarious” activities
  • Should protect pedestrians from criminal activity
      • Correspondence can be sent to PO at:
        • Dave Patterson – located at 1200 William Street
        • Dennis Wnuk – located at 1200 William Street
        • Bill Moncrief – Real Estate Specialist

  • Timeframe:
      • 18 Months from start to finish
      • Construction
        • PO will solicit local companies
        • Will follow diversity standards – Allita will look into what these standards are
  • USPS is becoming more retail oriented
  • What is the current number of walk-in retail transactions
  • New PO may include more PO Boxes, passports, more service windows
  • Final decision: about 75 days from first public meeting
  • PO Advertisement:
      • Will solicit comments from public as to possible sites
      • Will include all the parameters for which the PO requires for a site

Related Post: 14209 Re-Location Archive

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

Pataki Press Release 8/18/05

August 18, 2005


Project Will Bring Affordable Housing, Retail Space to Downtown

Governor George E. Pataki today announced $11 million in State funding to help renovate the former Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company building in downtown Buffalo. The funds, which were awarded through the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), will be used to create a mixed-use building complete with commercial space, artist lofts, family and special needs housing.

"The Artspace project is a significant step in our continuing effort to redevelop downtown Buffalo," Governor Pataki said. "This project combines our commitment to affordable housing and economic development, creating new, high quality affordable housing opportunities, while transforming the historic Buffalo Electric Company building from a vacant structure to a vibrant new center. We will continue to partner with localities and the private sector to keep growing our economy and expand access to affordable housing for New York's working families."

U.S. Representative Thomas M. Reynolds said, "Artspace is an important project not only for the city of Buffalo, but our entire community. It means better housing, a stronger arts community, and greater economic development opportunities. I'm pleased to have been able to be a part of keeping this project moving forward, and salute Governor Pataki's continued commitment to our area and Mayor Masiello's vision."

Senator Dale M. Volker said, "Governor Pataki has continued to make long-term investments for the Buffalo region and this announcement furthers his commitment for the City of Buffalo to revitalize and diversify its housing market. With an economy that continues to grow and expand, comes the need for affordable housing and retail space. Today's announcement by Governor Pataki will allow this pivotal project to move forward so that both businesses and individuals can continue to live and work in the City of Buffalo."

Senator Byron Brown said, "The Artspace project will be an excellent shot in the arm for the rebirth of Main Street. With all of the development in the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Corridor, affordable housing will be a much needed addition. This project shows the commitment the Western New York Delegation and the Governor have made to revitalizing Downtown Buffalo."

Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples said, "Buffalo is a city rich in architectural treasures. This project not only restores these historic structures, but provides much-needed affordable housing opportunities for our city residents."

Buffalo Mayor Anthony M. Masiello said, "This project ensures that the creative class will contribute to the revitalization of our City. Almost every block of Main Street now has significant new investment; this continues the momentum of the Medical Campus and downtown housing."

L. Kelley Lindquist, President, Artspace Projects, Inc. said, "We are delighted that the Buffalo project has received this award. This project has been blessed with great leadership from both the City of Buffalo and the State of New York. Thanks to that leadership, we can now proudly envision a permanent and affordable home for working artists and arts organizations on Main Street in Buffalo."

The project is the rehabilitation of a historic vacant commercial building and the new construction of six townhouse-style buildings on adjacent vacant land. Once completed, the project will consist of 60 residential rental units and retail space.

DHCR Commissioner Judith A. Calogero said, "Today's announcement reflects the Governor's dedication to affordable housing creation and to economic development in the region as well. The best gauge of that commitment is his record: since 1995, over $9 billion has been invested in affordable housing in the State of New York, using a combination of State appropriations and Federal resources. As a result, more than 170,000 affordable housing opportunities have been provided for low- and middle-income families."

Funding for the $15.5 million project will be provided by the New York State Housing Trust Fund Program, the federal Low Income Housing Credit Program, the New York State Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, the City of Buffalo HOME and CDBG Programs, historic tax credits and a Community Preservation Corporation loan.

The Low Income Housing Trust Fund program addresses the critical need for safe, affordable housing opportunities for seniors, families and individuals. The Housing Trust Fund provides State funding to help construct new housing, to rehabilitate vacant or under-utilized residential property and to convert vacant non-residential property to residential use.

The Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) was established to promote private sector investment in the development and retention of rental housing for low-income seniors, families and individuals. The program provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal income tax liability for project owners in direct relation to the number of affordable housing units they produce.

The State Low Income Housing Credit program (SLIHC) is modeled after the federal program but instead provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction in State income tax liability for project owners and serves households with incomes up to 90% of the area median.

City gives up rights to former J.N. Adam center


News Staff Reporter

An eight-month battle over the future of a Perrysburg site that was once home to Buffalo's tuberculosis hospital took another turn Wednesday when the Common Council voted to give up the city's reversionary rights.

The Council's about-face paves the way for the state to sell the 650-acre site of the former J.N. Adam Developmental Center to a logging company that has pledged to "responsibly" manage the forest. The 7-1 vote is expected to end a legal fight launched by Trathen Land Co. of Livingston County, which accused the city of illegally blocking its plans to buy the land.

North Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr. was the only dissenting vote at Wednesday's special session, which was hastily called in the middle of the Council's August recess. Sale critics later scolded lawmakers for holding the meeting when Council President David A. Franczyk was out of town and unable to attend. Franczyk, a vocal opponent of the sale, sent a letter to peers urging them to continue to block the deal. "Not only is our city being cheated on the purchase price, a measly $333,900 when the parcel in question was assessed at $4 million two years ago, but the bidder has no solid, written or any plan . . . to preserve or reuse the buildings," Franczyk wrote.

Mayor Anthony M. Masiello praised the Council for reversing opposition to the deal, noting that the state will give the city 90 percent of the sale price.

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq

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There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask
of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.
- Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) from The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961.

The views expressed here are mine and shouldn't be confused with the mission and statements made by others.
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