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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2014 Archives > April 2014 > Inventory Of Historic Downtown Buildings

Inventory Of Historic Downtown Buildings

The recently completed Buffalo Preservation Ready Survey serves as a resource guide for developers to easily identify downtown Buffalo’s great stock of properties that are ready for creative reuse and eligible for historic preservation tax credit incentives; it builds on efforts to drive more housing and mixed use development in Buffalo, while also preserving historic structures

April 14, 2014 - Mayor Byron Brown and Ruth Pierpont, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, along with the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC) and Buffalo Niagara Partnership (BNP), rolled out the recently completed Buffalo Preservation Ready Survey, initiated by the Buffalo Building Reuse Project (BBRP) to update and expand the inventory of historic buildings in downtown Buffalo.  This new unique tool targets the development community, making it easier for developers to identify properties that are eligible for historic preservation tax credit incentives that may help further the rehabilitation of a property.

“Buffalo’s historic buildings help to define who we are as a city, and restoring these properties creates construction jobs and new opportunities, while also promoting Buffalo’s growing heritage tourism industry,” said Mayor Brown. “The Buffalo Preservation Ready Survey is a resource to the development community and encourages historic preservation in Buffalo by providing valuable information about existing historic downtown properties and their character-defining features, as well as incentives offered through City, State and Federal historic preservation tax credit programs.  I thank Governor Cuomo for his continued focus on Buffalo and recognizing the value of our city’s rich history and historic properties.”

“The federal and New York State commercial rehabilitation tax credit programs demonstrate the powerful link between historic preservation and our state’s economy,” Deputy Commissioner Pierpont said. “The long-standing 20% federal tax credit program is enhanced by a robust New York State rehabilitation tax credit program, which provides an additional 20% credit for commercial projects in distressed areas of New York and which was renewed by a law signed by Governor Cuomo last year.  The use of the credit programs in Buffalo has been astonishing, with dozens of vacant and underutilized buildings finding new life.  The ‘Preservation Ready’ study is a significant public/private partnership and model for other communities looking to identify the next generation of historic properties that can take advantage of this economic development tool.”

"The Preservation Ready survey is an important tool for developers focused on the City of Buffalo," said Christina Orsi, Regional Director, Empire State Development Western New York and Director WNY Regional Economic Development Council."Buffalo's historic architecture is a unique asset to our community. This survey provides businesses an easy way to identify locations that were an important part of our past and transform them into a vital element of our bright economic future."

In 2011, as part of the Buffalo Building Reuse Project (BBRP), the City of Buffalo partnered with BUDC and BNP to conduct a survey to update and expand the inventory of historic buildings in downtown Buffalo, and along a portion of the Belt Line Railroad Corridor.  In 2012, the City of Buffalo was awarded a $60,000 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Properties (SHPO) to hire a consultant to conduct the survey.  BUDC was awarded an additional $20,000 from National Grid to cover the remaining costs.  Pan- American Consultants Inc. was selected to conduct the survey.

Mayor Brown rolled out the new Preservation Ready Survey at The Planing Mill at 141 Elm Street, a fitting location because BUDC recently approved a $750,000 loan through the BBRP Loan Program for the redevelopment of the historic building into an $8 million mixed use facility with approximately twenty (20) residential units and several thousand square feet of commercial retail space. It’s this type of project that the city hopes to attract through the Preservation Ready Survey and the BBRP loan program, building on Mayor Brown’s goal of 1,300 units of new housing for downtown over the next four years.

Mayor Brown plans to distribute an informational letter about the Buffalo Preservation Ready Survey and a CD to the development community this week.  The survey and inventory of 571 buildings/structures can be viewed online at, as well as and  For more information, contact Brandye Merriweather, BUDC downtown Coordinator, at 716-362-8373.