Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of the Buffalo headquarters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the Nash Lofts, a newly renovated building located in the Afro-African Heritage Corridor. American Michigan Street in Buffalo. Office space is provided free of charge by the developer, as well as free parking for visitors to the corridor. Nash Lofts, a $ 6 million restoration project, is a 40,000 square foot mixed-use building that will include 18 new apartments, retail space, parking and a restaurant. The project functions as a gateway to the African-American corridor of Michigan Street, which is a nationally and internationally recognized neighborhood that serves as a focal point for residents and visitors interested in learning more about the rich history of Buffalo through its historic community, shops, restaurants, architecture, people and institutions.
“I am proud to welcome the NAACP to its new headquarters in the African-American corridor of Michigan Street in Buffalo,” Governor Hochul said. “The restoration of the Nash Lofts is a key step in strengthening this historic district and will make the NAACP the perfect home as it continues to fight for equality, justice and a better future for us all.”
Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin said: “I am delighted that the NAACP is finding its new headquarters in this already historic neighborhood. Now more than ever, it is important that we provide unhindered access to the resources that groups like the NAACP provide to our marginalized communities. I look forward to it. to see the NAACP continue to add to the development and culture of Buffalo.
For more than a century, the NAACP has worked to achieve political, educational, social and economic equality for all and to eliminate discrimination based on race. Recent incidents of police brutality, the fight against COVID-19, and voter suppression have pushed the NAACP to disrupt inequalities, dismantle racism, and accelerate change in key areas such as criminal justice, healthcare. health, education, climate and economy.
NAACP Buffalo Branch President Reverend Mark Blue said: “The NAACP appreciates the opportunity to have its offices located in the Nash Lofts. These renovated historic buildings will remind us of the past but also allow us to celebrate the future of the vibrant African American Heritage Corridor. We thank Governor Hochul, Mayor Brown and all state and local officials who made it possible for the NAACP to move to its new headquarters. ”
The historic significance of the buildings at 163-167 Broadway and 64 Nash (circa 1820s and 1880s) remains a powerful reminder of New York’s vast and influential history. Located in the heart of Buffalo in the Ellicott District just east of downtown, the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor is a rich and culturally significant place for the African American community and the greater Buffalo-Niagara region.
The project is restoring four buildings that have been vacant for more than 15 years. It includes 18 mixed-income apartment units, a full-service restaurant and cultural space owned by minorities and women, commendable commercial space, including a space specially designed for minority and women-owned businesses. and tenants representative of the community. The whole project will encourage job creation and business investment in a region that has experienced a significant decline in investment for more than 50 years.
Steven Carmina, Managing Member of Michigan Broadway, LLC said: “On behalf of the entire Michigan Broadway, LLC Ownership Group, I would like to thank Governor Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, Majority Leader Crystal Peoples Stokes, Senator Tim Kennedy, Member of the Congressman Brian Higgins, Mayor Byron Brown and Chairman of the Board Darius Pridgen for believing in this project since 2015. It has been a labor of love for our group of owners and we are delighted to be here today to present preview the first ten apartments and new house of the NAACP. This project would not have been possible without more than $ 1 million in grants from Empire State Development. We are eager to start renting units, from December 1, to the workforce of our city. “
Funding for the Nash Lofts includes a $ 610,000 capital grant from ESD’s East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund, a $ 450,000 capital grant from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC), a bridge loan of 750 $ 000 from the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC) and approximately $ 1.7 million in historic tax credits from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The project also benefited from an exemption from sales tax and mortgage tax through ECIDA.
Kevin Younis, EDD COO and Executive Deputy Commissioner, said: “We are celebrating the opening of the NAACP offices in the Nash Lofts, a building that serves as an important anchor point for Buffalo’s Michigan Avenue African American Heritage Corridor – a tourist destination and meeting place. for those who wish to explore the city’s rich African-American history. ”
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said: “The historic tax credits that helped support this project reflect a key Parks mission to protect and preserve the state’s historic heritage. Here in the Buffalo area, since the expansion of the tax credit program in 2010, the use of the credits has attracted over $ 1 billion in private investment in the city’s historic resources. In recent years, the benefits of these credits have spread from the city center to smaller projects on its east side. These credits can play an ongoing role in supporting ongoing development along and near the Michigan Avenue corridor that represents the past, present and future of the city’s African American community. “
The Nash Lofts Project is one of many projects contributing to the revitalization of the East Side of Buffalo. The New York State East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund (ESCEDF) provides total funding of $ 50 million to invest in the four main trade corridors of the East Side of Buffalo: Michigan Avenues, Jefferson Avenues, Fillmore and Bailey. The funding will help revive main streets and traditional trade corridors by preserving historic buildings and encouraging private mixed-use investment; funding for capital improvements in neighborhood assets; expand business opportunities and encourage and improve pedestrian potential; and improving infrastructure in these neighborhoods. The fund complements previous East Side investments of $ 10 million for the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative and $ 5 million for the Buffalo Central Terminal, for a total of $ 65 million in investments since 2017 Find out more about these investments in the economic development of the East Side Corridor. Fund booklet here.
Terry Alford, Executive Director of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission, said: “We are very happy and delighted that our local NAACP is returning to our Heritage Corridor. The home of the national champion of social justice, Mary Talbert, once stood, it stumbled against the Michigan Street Baptist Church, one of the last stations of the Underground Railroad and where, in 1905, eminent intellectuals African-American civil rights figures, including iconic figures like WEB Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter, along with the church’s oldest pastor, Reverend J. Edward Nash, founded the Niagara Movement, the forerunner of the NAACP . We believe they have come home.
Senator Tim Kennedy said: “Under the exceptional leadership of Reverend Mark Blue, the NAACP Buffalo Branch has continued to break down the barriers of injustice and close the racial and social equality gaps that persist across our community. This new headquarters, ideally located in the historic Michigan Street African American Corridor, will further fuel their mission to build a stronger, more inclusive future, while honoring the history and legacy of the African American community in Buffalo. ”
Majority Assembly leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said: “It is a great honor for me to welcome the NAACP to its new headquarters in Buffalo in the city’s African American Heritage Corridor. The completion of construction of the 6-person mixed-use housing restoration project million dollars at the Nash Loft Building is a shining example of local and state resources to help revitalize our community by providing affordable housing for residents and commercial space and opportunities for minorities and women entrepreneurs. I congratulate the Parks Office of New York, Michigan Broadway, LLC and all the other community players whose leadership has made this project a reality. “
Buffalo City Mayor Byron W. Brown said: “The completion of the new NAACP Buffalo Chapter offices is another important milestone in the revitalization of the historic African American Heritage Corridor. The new NAACP home at Nash Lofts reconnects this site’s past as a location. Critic for the Underground Railroad and Civil Rights Movement I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for Empire State Development’s continued commitment to the East Side of Buffalo and this historic corridor.
Buffalo City Council Chairman Darius Pridgen said “The NAACP enters the African American Heritage Corridor. We welcome them as the entire city of Buffalo works to make it a space where we can remember our African American history, celebrate our music and culture, and come together. as a community to support and nurture each other – creating a better future. “
Erie County Director Mark Poloncarz said: “The new NAACP space in the Nash Lofts is another welcome sign of the resurgence of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor and the new energy that is invigorating the East Side of Buffalo. Housed in historic and beautifully restored buildings on Broadway and Nash, the new Headquarters and associated spaces of the Nash Lofts’ $ 6 million restoration project add vitality to the neighborhood with a vision for the future. “
More information on the Buffalo NAACP can be found here.
More information about Nash Lofts can be found here.