BMSI Program for Lower Niagara Street

Are you a property owner interested in applying?

At this time, all BMSI funds have been committed to property owners. Applications will no longer be accepted at this time.

First round applications were accepted on September 30th, 2015. Additional applications were accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed first-come, first-serve, as funds were still available. 

Are you a contractor or an architect interested in participating?

 BMSI Contractor RFQBMSI Architect RFQ

For questions, contact Jenn at or  (716) 882-7661 ext. 202.

Buffalo Main Streets Initiative for Niagara Street

The Buffalo Main Streets Initiative (BMSI) is a reimbursement program that provides commercial and mixed-use property owners with a 75% match (three dollars of grant funds for each one dollar of owner funds) up to a project total of $50,000 for commercial building renovations and $25,000 per unit for residential renovations, with a maximum grant amount of $150,000. Because BMSI funds are paid out at the end of a project, property owners must be able to pay for the full cost of the work up front prior to the 75% reimbursement (as well as permanently pay for their 25% share.)

The Program for lower Niagara Street will assist building owners on Niagara Street between Georgia St. and Porter Ave. by providing funds that can be used towards renovations, such as façade renovations and interior commercial and residential building upgrades. The reimbursement program will provide eligible commercial property owners with a 75% match (three dollars of grant funds for each one dollar of owner invested funds.) This exciting program will complement the investment the City of Buffalo is providing to our community through the Niagara Street Reconstruction Project and will give hardworking business owners a great opportunity to improve their storefronts!

Heart of the City Neighborhoods (HOCN,) was awarded $300,000 through the Better Buffalo Fund to implement the BMSI Program in our community. The BMSI Program in our community is made possible by Empire State Development’s Better Buffalo Fund and New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation.

Niagara Street in the Lower West Side, also known as Avenida San Juan and the Hispanic Heritage District, is an essential artery to the community. The strip serves as a gateway from Downtown Buffalo to the US Peace Bridge Plaza and the greater West Side communities. It is home to a variety of businesses, including bakeries, restaurants, beauty salons and barer shops, veterinarian offices, and dental and health clinics.

The BMSI Program will help support business owners who have invested in this great community for so many years. This program will work to sustain the unique cluster of commercial businesses, as well as support this walkable, dense, mixed-use community. Investments funded through this project will complement the current multimillion dollar private investments from the City of Buffalo, the NYS Department of Transportation, and the NFTA that are scheduled to being in 2015-2016.