Paths to prosperity through commercial, historic, and human investment


a place with significant historic and community-based assets, walkable main streets,
educational/training resources and access to public transit.

East Side Avenues’ goal is to fund, plan and coordinate revitalization strategies and initiatives aimed at improving economic conditions in four main commercial corridors on Buffalo’s East Side. It is backed by a unique partnership of private and philanthropic organizations which created a pooled fund of over $8 million to be used to complement the $65 million earmarked for East Side capital improvements by New York State through Empire State Development (ESD) as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion II. East Side Avenues stemmed from UB Regional Institute’s (UBRI) partnership with ESD and The City of Buffalo to reach out to community members, to listen, analyze past investments and create a comprehensive plan focused on what key stakeholders said they’d like to see happen and what projects they believe are important for promoting economic activity.

East Side Avenues will be led by a Project Implementation Team (PIT) from UBRI that will work to build organizational capacity by ensuring that appropriate supports such as infrastructure, staff and funding are in place; assisting with strategic planning, program design and problem solving; reporting on progress and ensuring responsible use of resources.


East Side Avenues will focus on projects that provide economic benefit to people living in the community and support locally-owned businesses. These five initiatives will be supported:

East Side Commercial Districts Program

East Side Commercial Districts Program funds building renovations and public space enhancements in targeted geographic investment areas. The Black Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Citizens Alliance; Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services; and the University District Community Development Association will serve as Local Program Administrators.

Community-Based Real Estate Development Training

Community-Based Real Estate Development Training harnesses the East Side’s human capital and ensures that revitalization is driven by the community through real estate development education. LISC Buffalo will work with the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning to develop and implement the program.


Building Preservation Fund supports the stabilization of at-risk historic buildings in target investment areas. Preservation Buffalo Niagara will spearhead this component.


Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission which will develop a cooperative operating/business model and capital improvements plan that will create a unified, unique tourist destination.


Central Terminal Restoration Corporation which will develop a plan for the site’s future and for the creation of a robust organization that will guide capital improvements and improve connection to the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood.


  • Bank of America
  • Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP
  • Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • Empire State Development
  • Evans Bank
  • Five Star Bank
  • The John R. Oishei Foundation
  • Key Bank/First Niagara Foundation
  • M&T Bank
  • The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
  • Northwest Bank
  • Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
  • The Weiss Family Foundation
  • Western New York Foundation