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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2010 Archives > August 2010 > SpecialSessionCommonCouncilToSaveJobs

Mayor Brown Calls For Special Session Of Common Council To Save Jobs For City Residents

Contact: Peter K. Cutler

Transfer of 7.8 Acres of City-Owned Land in Canal Side Development Area Pivotal to HSBC Bank’s Future Plans; Waterfront/Neighborhood Development Agreement Will Transfer City-Owned Land and Provide $10 Million for Investment in City Neighborhoods

Mayor Byron W. Brown has invoked his right by the City Charter to call for a special meeting of the Common Council and has asked the Council to meet tomorrow, August 4th to act on the transfer of 7.8 acres of city-owned land located within the Canal Side development area (see correspondence).

The land transfer agreement, which will bring investment and job creation to the city’s emerging waterfront and its traditional neighborhood commercial districts, is between the City of Buffalo and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. The agreement will generate $10 million in proceeds for the sale that would be invested in nine designated commercial districts throughout the city.

“Two weeks ago, I sent this historic agreement to the Common Council, informing them that it will expand Buffalo’s waterfront into our neighborhood commercial districts, opening increased job opportunities and investment for future growth,” said Mayor Brown. “The Council did not take action, went into recess for the summer and left this critically important economic development issue in limbo. By not approving this land transfer agreement, the Council risks taking one of the select few locations HSBC Bank is considering in downtown out of consideration. This jeopardizes thousands of HSBC-related jobs in the heart of downtown Buffalo. The bank’s redevelopment plans in our region are being discussed directly in London, England and if no action is taken by the Council I believe a prime development site in downtown will be eliminated from consideration.”

Mayor Brown added, “I applaud Council Majority Leader Richard Fontana for working with my Administration in trying to move this matter forward and I urge his fellow Council members to take action that will preserve jobs in the City of Buffalo, as well as create the opportunity for bringing additional new jobs into the city.”

As proposed on July 19th to the Common Council, the community development agreement will create the Waterfront Neighborhood Economic Development and Preservation Fund, which will inject $10 million into the City’s commercial corridors.  $9 million will be distributed to the nine designated commercial corridors located throughout the City of Buffalo.  The nine identified commercial corridors are located in each of the city’s Council Districts and are: Delaware – Hertel, Ellicott – Allentown, Fillmore -- Broadway Fillmore, Lovejoy – Lovejoy, Masten – Jefferson, Niagara – Grant-Ferry, North – Tonawanda-Ontario, South – Seneca, University – Bailey.

An additional $1 million will be made available for investments in non-designated commercial corridors. 

The Waterfront Community Development Agreement also commits ECHDC to:

1. Working with tenants on programs designed to increase employment opportunities for city residents and local businesses within the Canal Side Project.
2. Supporting a M/WBE program for development on the waterfront and in the business districts.
3. Incorporating green design into the development of Canal Side by meeting LEED standards for buildings, and
4. Ensuring that the property sold by the City of Buffalo will be taxable and subject to the local laws of the City of Buffalo, including the city’s Green Code.
5. Developing the project that reflects the historic character of the Canal Side district.