Development investments concern residents of gentrification

Dozens of development projects are happening, totaling $9 billion in private and public investment funds since 2012. Most going to East and West Buffalo.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The push for change in East Buffalo isn’t new; the city is taking a new approach by trying to “accelerate development and job creation in Buffalo,” says Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

And leaders hope to achieve that by building more housing, but some say that isn’t the solution.

“We don’t need more housing; we need to fix up the houses we already have,” says one Buffalo resident; she continues, “fix up the neighborhood; fix the streets; clean up the neighborhood. Like everybody knows  that we need more than one grocery store.”

According to Mayor Byron Brown, in 2022, there were dozens of development projects happening in the city, totaling $9 billion in private and public investment funds since 2012. Most of that money is going toward East and West Buffalo.

“Shovels have been hitting the ground. If you drive down Jefferson Avenue or if you drive to different parts of East Buffalo, you’ll see new things that have gone up,” says Mayor Brown. 

If you drive down Jefferson Avenue, you may see a recently developed bank and a few new housing buildings, including one home to Best Self Mental Health facility. However, in order to get tangible changes to the community, Brown says the neighborhood must first bring in revenue.

“People and the presence of people attract retail investment and retail development. We will build on the population base that will make it easier to attract grocery stores and other retail,” says Brown.

We also asked the Mayor if these changes could result in gentrification.

“We also set a goal to prevent displacement of 40% affordability of all housing development,” Brown says.

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