TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the New York state urban development corporation act, in
relation to requiring the corporation to study the city of Buffalo for
the purpose of fostering the growth of business and industry in New York
state; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration
The purpose of the study is to examine and evaluate the prospects for
retail redevelopment in the city of Buffalo. The commission shall devel-
op a retail revitalization program including, choosing target indus-
tries, developing voluntary programs, and creating tax credits or other
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The "Retail Redevelopment Commission" shall establish a pilot program,
whose primary responsibility shall be to produce a study of the possible
retail industries that would benefit residents and visitors to Buffalo.
This pilot program study shall be conducted within the city of Buffalo
and include a comprehensive market analysis study.
The commission shall report on current and projected trends in retail
for the city, develop initiatives, programs and policies for the devel-
opment and growth of retail businesses in Buffalo, as a model for other
cities in the state. The study would require that the results be
presented in a report to the legislature of its conclusions and recom-
mendations, including legislative proposals necessary to implement the
suggested programs, not later than July 1, 2012 and a final report on or
before January 1, 2013.
With high rates of joblessness, homelessness, poverty and crime; many
Buffalo residents struggle, as evidenced in the 2000 Census. The per
capita income in the City of Buffalo is $14,991. This number is well
below the national per capita income of $21,587. Twenty six percent of
residents in the City of Buffalo live beneath the poverty level, as
determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Addi-
tionally, unemployment is on the rise at 10.4%, as reported by the New
York State Department of Labor in December of 2003. Facing these grim
statistics, Buffalo still has many advantages and is strategically
oriented to build on its assets.
For much of its history, Buffalo's economy has been dominated by manu-
facturing, and when the jobs moved, so did the people. Over the past
several decades, and especially today, the economic climate is changing.
As manufacturing employment continues to decline, the growth of the
area's 'a new economy,' defined by information technology, cross-sector
partnerships, urban reinvestment and changing demographics, has begun
As a city rich with culture and history, record commercial development
In downtown Buffalo, a resurgence in downtown living, and serving as a
Gate way to one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, Buffalo is at
the cusp of a new era. With a new master plan for our schools, the newly
designed award-winning airport, and innovative efforts to bring Buffalo
and the region's economy to a new level, Buffalo is poised to attract
progressive retail chains to the area. Therefore, it is imperative that
the city devise a comprehensive strategy to rebuild its suffering retail
industry to complement other positive developments. The retail industry
is one of the most important sectors in the economy, providing over 15
per cent of all employment and including some of the largest and most
admired companies worldwide. Retailing deals with a large variety of
products - ranging from physical products, such as packaged goods, to
intangible products, such as financial services or travel. The impor-
tance of retailing for consumers does not need much explanation: most
people deal as consumers with retailers almost every day and for many
people shopping plays an important part in their lives.
Through this Retail Redevelopment Commission, Buffalo becomes a strong,
urban epicenter - as it once was in its hey day -- where citizens of the
city and the surrounding region can live, work, entertain and have
access to a progressive and diverse retail industry.
Same As: A.976A Peoples-Stokes
Compensation may be required for actual and necessary expenses to
conduct this study.
This act shall take effect immediately and remain in effect until March