On the sixth month anniversary of the Tops Market shooting, Gov. Kathy Hochul came to Broadway Fillmore today to announce $10 million in neighborhood grants to help improve the Broadway Market, expand businesses, provide more affordable housing and expand child care facilities among other initiatives.
“All these projects show we care about the community,” Hochul said while speaking at the Matt Urban Center, one of the grant recipients. “This is a community that matters and has a story to continue telling.”
The governor began by observing the tragedy on May 14.
“It’s indeed a solemn day for all of us,” Hochul said. “Let’s reflect on what happened to our neighbors on that bright, sunny day, a Saturday that is forever seared in our hearts on May14 when we lost 10 people on that day.”
The governor said the community is stronger after what happened.
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“This tragedy was something we had to deal with in the moment, but when you think about the six months we just came through, it is a true statement that our spirits were not broken; our spirits were, in fact, lifted up. We lifted each other up, we looked out for each other and we took care of our neighbors.
“We are going now continue to forge a path forward and harken a new beginning for Buffalo. because we came together as one after this tragedy and it won’t define us forever.”
The Brown administration secured the competitive grant, known as the Buffalo Broadway Fillmore Downtown Revitalization Initiative. A local committee chose the recipients.
“The grant means a lot because our goal is to infill an entire street with affordable housing,” said Kevin Dagher, vice president of Cedarland Development, of a $550,000 grant toward a $20 million Playter Gardens affordable housing project. “The grant will update the sidewalks, add trees and create curb appeal that will really bring the whole street together.”
The 11 grants will provide:
- $2.5 million to the Broadway Market, 999 Broadway, to open up the main entryway to accommodate amenities, create an outdoor farmers market, relocate tenant spaces on Broadway to be replaced by food-related vendors and improve circulation throughout the market. This brings the state’s spending on the market’s revitalization in 2022 to $39.5 million.
- $1.7 million for new street lighting, trees, flower planters and outdoor seating on streets around the Broadway Market.
- $1 million to help turn the underused grassy lawn at the Central Terminal into a year-round spot for recreational activities, organized sports and other events.
- $1 million to renovate the first two floors of 239 Lombard St. into a child care facility that can serve up to 90 children and employ at least 20 people, along with a facility to train child care workers.
- $664,000 to create an organic container farm by renovating an abandoned building and an adjacent parking lot into a 1-acre, solar-powered container farm with office space.
- $630,000 to revitalize Sears Paderewski Park, 358 Paderewski Dr., by adding a new surface, trees, playground equipment and a pavilion as a gathering space for small performances and a shaded play area.
- $550,000 to create 62 units of affordable housing ranging from single-family rentals to multifamily apartment units at Playter Gardens.
- $500,000 to renovate the historic Schreiber Brewery, 662 Fillmore Ave., into a multiuse commercial space that includes brewing production.
- $427,000 to renovate 950 Broadway into a day care center with classrooms, commercial kitchen, storage and outdoor playground.
- $362,000 to expand production capacity at Al Cohen’s Famous Rye Bread Bakery, 1132 Broadway, one of Broadway Fillmore’s largest employers. The expansion will occur on the company’s adjacent 185 Sweet Ave. property.
- $290,000 to improve the after-school and performance space at Matt Urban Center, 1081 Broadway, enabling the center to meets its licensing requirement for an after-school program.
Mark Sommer covers preservation, development, the waterfront, culture and more. He’s also a former arts editor at The News.