Main Street Car Access Gets Big Boost

Developer advances $10 million for downtown project

Tom Puckett
February 18, 2019 - 4:00 am

Lower Main Street. August 27, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) During Friday's State of the City address, Mayor Brown announced developer Douglas Jamal was advancing $10 million toward the Main Street project to give cars access to it downtown. 

The latest step is opening up Main to cars between Exchange and Scott Streets, which could also help Canalside and the medical campus, says Dottie Gallagher of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. "When you think of those two things, they are the anchor tenants of downtown and are the fundamental opportunities we have," says Gallagher. 

Gallagher says there's already been success on other blocks of Main. "They've been transformed, especially the 500 block, the difference is night and day, as much as five years ago," says Gallagher.

Gallagher says there's one key to success downtown: getting people to live there. "Downtown residency is up 10 percent from 2011, so the additional announcement of apartments and homes is really key, because businesses won't come until there are residents who will support them," explains Gallagher. 

Gallagher says the money for the project has been federal TIGER grants, one at a time, so Jamal's advance is a good kickoff to pursuing the last of the money. "When you get closer to the end, it's tougher to get that money," says Gallagher.

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