New Life for Empty Commercial Property

January 25, 2012 / Samantha Bartolata, Editor in Chief

The city of Buffalo in New York has excessive commercial property that is unsold and unrented. This fact is detrimental to the downtown area. A study conducted over the course of a year by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership resulting in the conclusion that it is harming the re-development that would otherwise be taking place.

New Life for Empty Commercial Property

The report made specific recommendations. First, the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation should lead the development of the downtown area. Secondly, there must be a way to grant loans and other financing options. Third, there should be a strategy that will change class B and class C commercial properties to residential properties.

The same research concluded that interest in commercial property will remain low. At the same time the demand for residential buildings is increasing. Buffalo will provide funding in the amount of $40 million. The city expects additional money to be made available from the private sector and other governmental entities.

The situation at this time is that some buildings are renovated. Some of the residential units have a waiting list of prospective tenants. Ten commercial buildings sit empty and there are a total of two-million square feet of empty space for rent. Although some of this space is rehabbed, some has structural problems and the presence of asbestos. Government funding will be granted to redevelop those buildings in the commercial property category when they are restorable.

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