Senator Thompson Announces $22 Million In Funding For WNY Community Development Projects

Antoine M Thompson

September 08, 2009

For Immediate Release
Contact: Heather Zeisz | | 716.854.8705

Buffalo, NY- New York State Senator Antoine Thompson today announced Restore NY grant awards in Western New York totaling $22.26 million.  The grants will fund projects in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Tonawanda and Grand Island. 

“The Restore NY program shows the way government and private enterprise can work together to benefit everyone.  These grants will have a multiplier effect, bringing private investment, jobs and economic vitality to the Buffalo-Niagara Frontier region.  Our community faces tremendous challenges, and the State of New York stepped forward today to help us meet those challenges and build a better future,” said Senator Antoine Thompson.

Buffalo will use a $6.8 million grant to leverage private investment for the redevelopment of historic commercial and residential properties, part of  the City’s comprehensive plan to support cultural tourism and mixed use development.  Another $7.6 million award will assist Buffalo’s efforts to remove vacant and abandoned buildings. 

Three projects in Niagara Falls are receiving funding.  A $5 million grant will complement private investment and historic rehabilitation tax credits for the conversion of the former South Junior High School into Niagara City Lofts . The project will create more than 100 construction jobs.  A $1.3 million award  will be used for asbestos abatement at the former 39th Street School and the former Municipal Building.  These city buildings are being converted into residential, assisted living and mixed use properties.

Grand Island will receive $1 million to help rehabilitate the Dunlop Building and restore it to market-ready status.  Tonawanda will use a $663,000 grant for demolition work at the Spaulding Fiber brownfields site.

Restore NY Communities Initiative, administered by Empire State Development, helps revitalize  urban areas and stabilize neighborhoods to attract commercial and residential development.   These awards are part of the third round of the grant program.

Restore NY grants assist  municipally-sponsored projects to rehabilitate buildings or demolish vacant, abandoned or condemned buildings. The projects being rehabilitated must be architecturally consistent with nearby  properties, and all projects must be part of comprehensive local revitalization and development plans.

Awards were made to qualified applicants based on statutory criteria outlined in the 2006-2007 State budget. Rounds I and II provided a total of $150 million for these types of projects.

For more information regarding Restore NY, please visit