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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2014 Archives > June 2014 > Mayor Brown Accepts Outstanding Achievement Award For South Buffalo BOA

Mayor Brown Accepts Outstanding Achievement Award For South Buffalo BOA

June 9, 2014 - Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown today accepted the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award for the South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA). There are currently 126 communities across NYS participating in the BOA program. The South Buffalo BOA received top honors from the leading state brownfields organization, New Partners for Community Revitalization (NPCR).

“This recognition is much appreciated,” said Mayor Brown, at a press conference at the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park in the South Buffalo BOA. “There is over $4.3 billion in new economic activity in the City of Buffalo today. The South Buffalo BOA is a critical part of this development momentum. Over $1.7 billion in public and private investments have been made in the South Buffalo BOA since BOA planning activities began in 2008. We appreciate the recognition from New Partners for Community Revitalization and I appreciate all of the hard work that has gone into moving these projects forward.”

The planned $1.5 billion private investment by two high-tech companies – Soraa and Silevo – within the $225 million State-funded Hub announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in November 2013 is a direct result of the planning activities undertaken through the South Buffalo BOA – from the strategic identification of the RiverBend site during the Step 2 Nomination Phase and subsequent acquisition of the property by the City of Buffalo in 2009 for $4.6 million, to the preparation of a long-term vision and master plan during the Step 3 Implementation Phase. 

The RiverBend Master Plan, a key component of the BOA Step 3 Implementation Strategy, created the vision that enabled Governor Cuomo and his chief technology-based economic developer, Alain Kaloyeros, to see the long-term potential of a vacant, overgrown brownfield site and commit to development of the Innovation Hub. It is anticipated this will result in the creation of 850 new jobs, with hundreds more expected within the Innovation Hub and other strategic sites in the South Buffalo BOA as additional companies and economic activity are attracted to the Hub @ RiverBend.

“We are pleased to give this award to Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo in recognition of the extraordinary outcomes that have already been achieved in the South Buffalo BOA,” said Jody Kass, executive director of New Partners for Community Revitalization. “The South Buffalo BOA is a model for other urban centers struggling with contaminated lands, the legacy of an earlier industrial era, which are a major impediment to community revitalization. Nowhere is this more true than the City of Buffalo. Under Mayor Brown’s leadership, Buffalo is fully leveraging the state’s brownfield programs, and creating a community redevelopment model that is inspiring neighborhoods across New York and across the country.”

The 2,000-acre South Buffalo waterfront site is strategically located in the bi-national region. Building on the natural geography as well as key transportation and environmental assets, the BOA process created a vision that linked and united those assets, resulting in the reclamation of hundreds of acres of industrial lands – former brownfields – that have led to the rebirth of the area. As a result, the South Buffalo BOA has emerged as an invaluable community asset that will continue to flourish as the implementation strategies are completed.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Mayor Brown and the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, the South Buffalo BOA site has new life,” said Councilmember Christopher P. Scanlon.  “An area that was once home to some of Buffalo’s world leading industrial manufacturers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries will now be home to a high tech, clean energy world of tomorrow. I am thrilled that Soraa and Silevo, along with their hundreds of jobs, have decided to relocate from California to right here in South Buffalo. The economic impact that will be felt both here in our neighborhood and throughout the City will hopefully spur future investment in our city from similar entities.”

Senator Tim Kennedy said, “When Buffalo was booming, our steel mills and factories were sources of pride and good-paying jobs. Unfortunately, when some closed up shop and shipped out years ago, they left behind large industrial properties abandoned and contaminated. Today, many of these brownfields are finally seeing new life, especially within the South Buffalo BOA. With over $1.7 billion in public and private investment in the South Buffalo BOA in recent years, this project has helped fuel the economic momentum driving job creation and new development here in South Buffalo and throughout our city and region. Thanks to NPCR for recognizing our collective efforts, and to Mayor Brown for helping us achieve economic progress in Buffalo.”

Michael P. Kearns, NYS Assembly Member, 142nd district, stated, “At the turn of the 20th Century much of this land adjacent to the Buffalo River and Lake Erie was the center of important industry that made Buffalo prosper.  However, with an unfortunate turn of events many of these lands were abandoned and left vacant.  Today partnering with New York State and City of Buffalo these same lands have been reclaimed and redefined to bring new jobs and economic development to South Buffalo.  This recognition verifies how significant this program is to the future of Western New York and the Western New York economy.” 

New Partners for Community Revitalization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the renewal of low- and moderate-income urban and downtown neighborhoods and communities of color, through brownfield redevelopment policy and program initiatives.