Senator Kennedy Announces Opening of Applications for $300,000 in Better Buffalo Funding Awarded for Seneca Street Revitalization

Coalition for a Vibrant Seneca Street Led Grassroots Effort to Secure Funding, Which Will Now Help Area Businesses and Developers Enhance the Seneca Corridor

Informational Session to Be Held August 28th for Businesses Interested in State Money Dedicated To Supporting the Ongoing Renaissance of Historic South Buffalo Neighborhood

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) joined the Coalition for a Vibrant Seneca Street and the Wellness Institute of Buffalo Monday to announce that funding applications are now being accepted from South Buffalo businesses and developers for projects aimed at revitalizing the Seneca Street neighborhood. The news comes after New York State awarded $300,000 in funding for the Coalition for a Vibrant Seneca Street through the Better Buffalo Fund. The money will now be disseminated among various businesses and organizations in the six-block Seneca Street area for facade enhancements and other much-needed renovations to storefronts and apartments.

“For too many years, South Buffalo was left out of the redevelopment that was taking place in so many other parts of our city,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “ I was incredibly pleased to see this hardworking Coalition as one of the recipients of this year’s Better Buffalo grants, and I’m even more excited to see what will happen in the neighborhood in years to come. The South Buffalo community is one of heart and vision, and I encourage any business owner within the corridor to join us for this informational session, so that we can continue to foster that sense of spirit together collaboratively.”

“The Better Buffalo Fund will be another great boost for Seneca Street, as it helps qualified property owners to enhance their buildings, in a way that will compliment the surrounding neighborhood,” said Marc Pasquale of the Coalition for a Vibrant Seneca Street. “The enthusiasm is reverberating throughout the community and attracting more  people to our neighborhood and more investors to our neighborhood.”

“The Coalition has led an inclusive and strategic community effort that includes citizens,  nonprofits, businesses and elected officials, and that collaboration is a foundation for sustainability and renewal in this historic corridor,” said Phil Habestro, Executive Director of the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo. “We’re grateful to have representatives like Senator Tim Kennedy supporting our efforts, and we look forward to working together to highlight the positive changes to come.”

An informational session will be held Tuesday, August 28th from 6-7 p.m. at the Cazenovia Neighborhood Library, 155 Cazenovia Street. At this meeting, property owners within the commercial corridor will be given an official application to apply for funding, as well as be presented with detailed information regarding the requirements of the program.

The Better Buffalo Fund is part of the Buffalo Billion Initiative led by Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Empire State Development, and funds projects that seek to spur the city’s economic development by restoring its commercial neighborhoods and improving its transportation systems. The $300,000 Coalition for a Vibrant Seneca Street grant aims to accomplish the first of these goals, enabling the revival of a Buffalo neighborhood with a long history. The area includes Shea’s Seneca Theater, which was originally built in 1929 and is undergoing a renovation and stabilization project that began last year, Cazenovia Park, designed in the 1890s, as well as a sizable commercial corridor between Epson and Cazenovia Streets.