BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)-Buffalo Assemblyman Sean Ryan stood in front of a former apartment house that developers plan to replace with a four-story apartment building and adjacent parking lot.
The property in the Elmwood Village is surrounded by other residential parcels that are eligible for the State’s Historic Tax Credits program

“It is simple math, you put a $20,000 roof in, you get a $4,000 check in the mail from New York State. That is what has promoted so many of the houses in this area to be re-done.”

But Ryan and preservationists say once the developer applies for a demolition permit, the city has 30 days approve it, but by the time Buffalo’s Preservation Board and Common Council can review the property to save it the 30 days would pass.

“Don’t let all this value that has been created over generations by homeowners investing in this place be siphoned off for millionaires who do not live here, and who do not care about this place,” said Jessie Fisher of Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

Fisher and Ryan are promoting a measure the Common Council is considering that would extend the review process from 30 to 45 days. But the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is opposed to that proposal saying it could cause undue delays to important redevelopment projects.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan says 10-million dollars has returned to Elmwood Village in the form of historic tax credits.. while nearly two-dozen buildings have been torn down.
If the demolitions continue, Ryan contends at some point the state might cut those tax credits off.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.