SCHUMER: BUFFALO’S NORTHLAND CORRIDOR REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT IS AT RISK IF CONGRESS ELIMINATES HISTORIC TAX CREDIT; SENATOR URGES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO EXPEDITE APPROVAL PROCESS SO THAT PROPERTY BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR VITAL FEDERAL HISTORIC TAX CREDITS, WHICH COULD TOTAL $16M FOR THIS PROJECT BEFORE CREDIT IS POTENTIALLY ELIMINATED BY GOP TAX BILL
Schumer: Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project Is Essential To Help Revitalize Buffalo’s East Side; Historic Northland Avenue Property Is Central To The Project
Northland Corridor Project And Planned Training Center Will Address Buffalo's Skills Gap And Help Prepare Workers For Jobs That Local Companies Need
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer recently called on the National Park Service (NPS) to approve the Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project’s request for inclusion of a key property to the National Register of Historic Places. Schumer said the vital designation of the former Niagara Machine and Tool Works Factory would allow the project to become eligible for an estimated $16 million historic tax credit, and help spur economic development on the East Side of the City of Buffalo. The project would restore the building's historic features and convert the vacant property into a job training center. Schumer’s push comes on the verge of the Republican attempt to reduce or entirely eliminate the historic tax credit, which was conceived exactly for these types of revitalization efforts, and which the city of Buffalo has used extensively in recent development efforts.
“The Northland Corridor Project will do three important things: address blight on our city's East Side, spur economic growth, and create a manufacturing training center in the former Niagara Machine and Tool Works Factory to better prepare workers for the jobs companies need. Adding this property to the National Register of Historic Places will protect and help restore the facility’s character, and open the project to federal investment,” said Senator Schumer. “However we’re racing the clock as House Republicans could succeed in eliminating this vital program, which helped turn around Buffalo during turbulent times. That’s exactly why I am urging the feds to quickly review and approve this application. We need this job training center to enable residents and job seekers to gain the skills they need to be competitive now and in the future, and this historic designation will help make that a reality.”
Schumer said the site, located at 683 Northland Avenue, is the former Niagara Machine and Tool Works Factory. Once completed, the location will house a workforce training center that will train workers for jobs across a wide variety of fields and professions, enriching the regional economy and helping to address the "skills gap." According to the Buffalo News, an estimated 17,000 manufacturing jobs may need to be filled by the year 2020, while 80 percent of manufacturers report that they cannot find the skilled workers needed to fill such jobs. The Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project will address these issues. Schumer said this historic designation is the key to unlocking vital federal Historic Tax Credits designed to help cultivate developments like the Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project.
The House pass tax legislation, H.R. 1, would completely eliminate the historic rehabilitation tax credits. The Senate passed legislation would keep only the 20 percent credit for certified historic structures (on the NPS list), which would have to be taken ratably over a five-year period. The Senate passed legislation would eliminate the 10 percent credit for qualified rehabilitation expenditures. This would effectively reduce the value of the credit by about a third, or $3.1 Billion, over 10 years.
A copy of Schumer’s letter appears below:
Dear Mr. Loether,
I am pleased to write you in support of the Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project’s request for inclusion of the Niagara Machine and Tool Works Factory on the National Register of Historic Places. Such a designation would enhance the project’s eligibility for funding opportunities and help spur economic development on the East Side of the City of Buffalo. Specifically, the approval of the Project Part II proposal is vital to moving this project forward.
Upon redevelopment, the property, located at 683 Northland Avenue, will house a workforce training center that will train workers for jobs across a wide variety of fields and professions. Attaching the historic designation to this site will not only protect and help restore the facility’s character but also enable the State of New York and the City of Buffalo to take advantage of federal programs designed to help cultivate developments of this exact nature.
Thanks to the diligent work of Mayor Brown, Empire State Development, and Buffalo Urban Development, I am pleased to express my full-throated support of this designation and hope that the application meets with your approval.
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions regarding the application.
Charles E. Schumer