FCNC is awarded BNAR Smart Growth Grant

April 14, 2015
Rita Gay

The Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors® (BNAR) in partnership with the National Association of Realtors has provided the Fillmore Corridor Neighborhood Coaltion (FCNC) with one of this year’s 2015 Smart Growth Action Grant awards in the amount of $18,000, in addition Councilmember David Franczyk’s office and the FCNC will provide matching funds in the amount of $8,000 toward the implementation of the Fillmore Main Street Initative. The BNAR believes that the development of a community-based program that would utilize the National Main Street Center’s comprehensive approach in the revitalization of the two commercial districts within the Broadway-Fillmore and MLK neighborhoods is the first step in creating a positive economic climate for the Fillmore Corridor community. Besides giving guidance to FCNC in structuring such a program, the Community Assessment Study would provide a roadmap with clear directions on how the revitalization process should be implemented and managed.
The BNAR has been associated with a number of local smart growth projects including:
- promotion of homeownership in the Richmond and Hamlin Park sections of Buffalo;
- supporting and promoting the Framework for Regional Development study which called for mixed land uses, compact building design, creating walkable communities, and preserving open and green spaces; and
- creation of the Communities of Excellence Award which recognizes the efforts of local companies and individuals in developing smart growth projects.
The BNAR is particularly interested in being involved in the proposed Community Assessment Study of the Broadway-Fillmore and Martin Luther King (MLK) neighborhood districts of Buffalo for the following reasons:--
Over the last 30 years, the Broadway-Fillmore and MLK communities have experienced a major lack of investment and a loss of valuable historic and cultural assets. The disinvestment is most keenly felt and observed in the Fillmore Corridor’s two neighborhood commercial districts where many buildings are vacant or underutilized and most existing businesses are not responsive to the customer base residing in homes that surround the commercial cores.
Apart from the benefits that would accrue to the Fillmore Corridor neighborhoods, the establishment of a Main Street® program would have a positive impact on the City of Buffalo and the whole western New York area. The program will work to improve neighborhood vitality and safety, enhance aesthetics along streets and public spaces, and increase neighborhood pride. These changes will make the region stronger and more attractive to investors.