Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce

Building Reuse

Legislative Status Report - July 2012

Adaptive re-use refers to the viable policy of re-using an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was originally intended. Since a vacant building can significantly impact a community as a whole, adaptive re-use has become a beneficial way to utilize current infrastructure while providing an alternative option to suburban sprawl. Adaptive re-use utilizes the concepts of smart growth, sustainability and preservation to help communities continue to thrive in a way that is socially, economically and environmentally sound.


Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, in conjunction with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, has launched the Buffalo Building Reuse Project to create recommendations and actionable strategies to drive the growth and success of downtown Buffalo in the 21st century. The City of Buffalo has earmarked $11.25 million over the next three years for the Building Reuse Project and New York State will contribute $4 million. The Buffalo Urban Development Corporation is the lead agency for the Building Reuse Project, handling the intake of projects in downtown Buffalo.


On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, Amherst Chamber Investor National Grid announced a pledge of up to $4.25 million over the next three years for the project as well. There is potential for further funding through the company's energy efficiency programs and National Grid has also committed up to $500,000 to help with marketing efforts for the project. According to National Grid officials, this is the company's largest economic development commitment in Western New York and one of its larges in upstate New York.


The Buffalo Building Reuse Project offers a roadmap for the possible new uses and developments in older buildings. This aligns perfectly with the Amherst Chamber's position that all redevelopment should be done while working within the region's Framework for Regional Growth. We should be utilizing existing infrastructure with infill projects and redevelopment, which is the core goal of the Building Reuse Project.

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