New construction booming in Buffalo
BUFFALO, NY – Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate the number of local construction in Buffalo jobs jumped by more than 28 percent in the last five years. That represents the largest growth in the construction sector in the entire Northeast, ahead of Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.
Mayor Byron Brown says currently more than $5.5 billion in economic development activity is underway in Buffalo, which is expected to generate 12,000 new jobs.
The Erie County IDA reports that of the new work in 2015, 20 projects were approved for tax incentives, generating over $158 million dollar in private investment.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says he is seeing more projects come on line with no assistance, explaining, “That is what happens in a hot market — when they want to be in a place where there’s growth and development, and they don’t need tax incentives to make that effective, and worthwhile.”
But critics say Buffalo is still in the infancy of regaining its esteem. During a panel discussion held by our partners at the Investigaive Post, developer Rocco Termini said real progress happens when a city is economically sustainable and doesn’t rely on subsidies to incentivize developers.
Termini says Buffalo’s biggest challenge is boosting its low median annual income. He says more income in the city is needed to get rents up so that you can start doing things without government subsidies.
Mayor Byron Brown says more projects are expected to be announced soon. some projects on the drawing board include additions to the waterfront, downtown and more development throughout neighborhoods.