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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2013 Archives > February 2013 > Mayor Brown Celebrates Progress In Buffalo

Mayor Brown Celebrates Progress In Buffalo

Contact: Lorey Schultz
               (716) 851-5545

During the 2013 State of the City Address, Mayor Brown announced that his administration’s Webster Block Challenge  will be responsible for bringing $250 million in investment to Buffalo’s Waterfront; Detailed other Economic, Public Safety and Educational Support Gains, including more than $1.5 billion in economic development activity in Buffalo

February 22, 2013 - Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown delivered his annual State of the City address today at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, detailing his agenda for the year that continues the progress of the past seven years that has resulted in over $1.5 billion in economic development activity, more jobs and housing, new educational initiatives, safer neighborhoods, improved infrastructure and greater opportunities for all city residents and business owners.

“With over $1.5 billion in completed, under construction or announced economic development activity, the most we’ve seen in decades, I’m pleased to announce that the State of the City is the strongest it’s been in years,” said Mayor Brown.  “I’m upbeat about our continued progress, confident in our neighborhoods, and energized for the coming days.”

Economic Development and Job Creation

  • Mayor Brown announced that his administration’s Webster Block Challenge will be responsible for bringing $250 million in economic development to Buffalo’s Waterfront:
    • Ellicott Development Company and the Mosey-Castle Interests’ proposed $75 million mixed use development is coming to Buffalo’s waterfront, on land owned by the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency near the Erie Basin Marina.
  • Honoring a pledge made three years ago, Mayor Brown announced that he will not raise property taxes in 2013.
  • At the city-owned Erie Basin Marina, construction will begin on a new second floor outdoor patio at the popular Hatch Restaurant. 
  • Mayor Brown also announced the city's plans to re-open a portion of the Bird Island Pier.
  • Highlighting the return of two-way traffic to downtown Main Street as vital in the effort to revitalize Buffalo, Mayor Brown pledged to continue to aggressively seek the needed funds to complete the entire stretch of downtown Main Street. Construction will wrap up this year in the 600 Block, and begin in the 500 Block, spurring new investment and job growth.

Infrastructure and Parks Improvement

  • Mayor Brown highlighted Infrastructure Improvement Projects Planned for 2013 including:
  • More  than $6 million in infrastructure improvement projects city-wide, including $3 million in paving and landscaping in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park neighborhood
  • More than a $1 million in infrastructure improvements in the Fruit Belt
  • Mayor Brown announced that his administration’s historic investment in city parks will continue.  This year, construction will begin on:
    • The $250,000 Skate Plaza at Lasalle Park
    • The $400,000 installation of a new synthetic turf field at Mulroy Park in South Buffalo
    • $750,000 in upgrades to Coca-Cola Field and,
    • The $1.5 million revitalization of Broderick Park
  • With a plan of attracting even more businesses and residents to the City of Buffalo, Mayor Brown announced two new marketing competitions, one to promote living in Buffalo, the other to promote doing business in Buffalo.  Today, he called on the business community to match the city’s investment of $100,000 to take ‘selling’ Buffalo to another level.

Public Safety

With crime down 6.5% in 2012, 19% since 2005, Mayor Brown announced that his Zero Tolerance Crime Policy is working.

In 2013:

  • There will be a new class of Buffalo police officers on the streets.
  • ‘Strike Force’, targeting crime hot spots, will be made permanent. 
  • Skywatch will be deployed to large public events in Buffalo.
  • Buffalo’s state-of-the-art surveillance camera system, now up to 194 cameras, will continue to expand throughout the city.
  • To help continue the important work already started to prevent violence in some of Buffalo’s hardest hit neighborhoods, Mayor Brown announced the launch of a new violence prevention program that targets gang-involved or at-risk youth.  Modeled after nationally recognized programs in Boston, Providence and Stockton, the ‘Peacemakers Gang Intervention Program’ will support violence prevention and intervention efforts that build stronger partnerships between the community and law enforcement.

Educational support and Youth Opportunities

  • As co-chair of the Joint Schools Construction Board, Mayor Brown played a critical role in the $1.4 billion redevelopment of 48 city schools.  He announced during his speech that full completion is expected in 2014, providing Buffalo students with some of the best learning environments in the nation!
  • Mayor Brown announced a new educational partnership between the City of Buffalo, M &T Bank and the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood that will support the hiring of additional attendance teachers.
  • Mayor Brown announced that he will increase the city’s financial commitment to his Summer Youth Employment Program, continuing to provide meaningful work for young people.  Last year, the city employed over 1,300 youth and provided more than 17,000 job opportunities since 2006.
  • Mayor Brown introduced Buffalo’s first graduating high school seniors who will benefit from Say Yes to Education Buffalo.  Mayor Brown led the effort for the City of Buffalo to become one of the first financial supporters of Say Yes to Education, committing $500,000 over three years to this program.  
  • Mayor Brown’s effort to help increase literacy in Buffalo continues to progress.  In 2012, 1,500 young people read over 11,000 books, setting a new record for summer reading through Mayor Brown’s Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading challenge.

 “Since 2006, we’ve made real progress in delivering on the issues that matter most to residents and taxpayers,” Mayor Brown said. “We put strategies in place that enabled our city to foster a positive new climate, allowing us to turn the corner in a number of critical areas that resulted in improved city finances and created a positive environment that led to a significant level of new investment, bringing new jobs to Buffalo.”

Construction will start in 2013 on the Buffalo Sabres $172 million plan to build a first-of-its-kind hockey themed facility on the Webster Block site, creating over 350 jobs.