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LISC has been engaged in Larkin District revitalization since 2006 by helping to form and supporting a private-nonprofit partnership between Larkin Development, the Old 1st Ward Community Association (O1W) and South Buffalo Neighborhood Housing Services (SBNHS). Building on a plan written by the University at Buffalo Urban Design Project, this collaboration led to neighborhood and tenant surveys about community conditions and needs. As a result, nearly 80 owner-occupants have received rehab assistance through this partnership between Larkin Development, First Niagara Bank, the O1W and SBNHS.
Commercial investment in the District is getting stronger as well. Buffalo LISC provided support for a successful NY State Main St Grant application which is injecting $500,000 in much needed improvements to the Seneca Street commercial strip. LISC also supported the redevelopment of the historic U-Building with an $8.5 million allocation of New Market Tax Credits (internal link), which now houses more than 200 First Niagara employees.
As commercial redevelopment takes off in the neighborhood, additional housing units are planned to fill in the gaps in the streetscape, and a public plaza – now dubbed – Larkin Square is set to be unveiled in spring of 2012.
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