|An eNewsletter from|
Welcome to the first edition of the Buffalo Local Initiative Support Corporation's (LISC) eNewsletter.
Recognizing that so many people are receiving their news and information online made this format and distribution method an easydecision. We hope you agree and that you will forward this on to colleagues and others who may be interested in what we do and the many community-based projects that we support.
An expanded version of articles with photos may be found on our website at www.lisc.org/buffalo. Bookmark it for easy access! We value your comments and suggestions, so feel free to pass them along via our website.
There have been many activities and community leaders we have been privileged to support in 2005, and in this initial newsletter, we will hit on some of the highlights.
Best wishes for a happy and productive spring.
Adaptive Reuse on a Grand Scale: The Asbury Delaware Church
The restoration of the historic Asbury Delaware Church byRighteous Babe Records and its principals, recording artist Ani DiFranco and Scot Fisher, was headline news. LISC, HSBC Bank, and other partners worked together providing a complex financial package to help ensure that this endeavor would become a reality. This project turned a house of worship into a house of music and artistic expression to been joyed for years to come, with the main hall of the church providing aconcert venue unique to Buffalo. The restored church is also to Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, bringing the center back downtown,and enhancing Buffalo's strong visual and performing arts community.The organization has already seen an increase in attendance and membership in its new, accessible and highly visible location.
Though LISC provided New Market Tax Creditsfor the Asbury Delaware Church restoration, the project could not have happened without an investor to pay for the credits. HSBC Bank USA was that crucial backer, providing the equity investment for the New Market and Historic tax credits of $4.55 million. HSBC also provided $2.9million in loans to the project. The bank's total investment of $7.45million is ultimately what brought the project across the finish line.HSBC Bank USA's dedication and support made them our Community Development Investor of 2005 and we are deeply grateful for theirefforts. Read more >>>
Partnerships at Work: Belmont Shelter Corporation & Bethel Community Development Corporation
The Bethel Community Development Corporation (CDC) and theBelmont Shelter Corporation broke ground on 30 single family homes nearMichigan Avenue, Dodge and Southampton Streets. The properties are being built on approximately 60 vacant lots under a tax creditrent-to-own program. Modeled on successful efforts in Cleveland, theprogram brings long-term stability to neighborhoods under going revitalization efforts and provides home ownership opportunities for families of limited means.
BuffaloLISC is happy to have played a role in providing project and staff funding. Our subsidiary, National Equity Fund, provided the tax credit equity investment of $4.2 million. Read more >>>
The National Vacant Properties Campaign Comes to Buffalo
A team of experts from the National Vacant Properties Campaign(NVPC) focused their sights on Buffalo in the fall to begin theirassessment of the area's initiatives to redevelop unoccupied and abandoned properties. The Buffalo region is one of seven urban area sacross the United States to be selected for this project based on local efforts to reclaim and restore neighborhoods. Working with the AmherstIndustrial Development Agency and the University at Buffalo Institute of Local Governance and Regional Growth, LISC was instrumental in making sure Buffalo was on their radar.
Their final report is expected shortly for this unique effort that brings together Buffalo inner-ring suburbs to address a common problem. Armed with the recommendations of experts in the field and "bestpractices" from other communities, we look forward to collectively tackling our vacancy and abandonment problems head-on. Read more >>>
The NFL Comes to All-High Stadium
The revitalization of All-High Stadium is being aided by a$200,000 grant through LISC's partnership with the Buffalo Bills, theNational Football League (NFL) and the NFL Players Association through the NFL Youth Football Fund. The renovation will include grandstand reconstruction; new field lighting; improved mechanical, electrical andplumbing systems; and a new all-weather eight-lane running track. The grant will pay for a new synthetic football field, similar to those used for NFL playing surfaces.
The LISC/NFL partnership has provided nearly $10 million for projects like this. All-High is the fourth recipient of an award for the program. Read more >>>
Public Servant of the Year:City Housing Court Judge Henry J. Nowak
Over the past three years Judge Henry Nowak has energized and connected the functions of City Housing Court with neighborhood preservation in a new and very meaningful way. Through the court --supported by two aids with resources coming through LISC from the JohnR. Oishei Foundation -- the judge has created a system of outreach and education that has been effective in identifying and adjudicating long-standing problem cases. Thanks to Judge Nowak's determination to improve Buffalo neighborhoods, properties of negligent and destructive property owners have been brought into compliance with local codes, a new system of community-based receiverships for improved management of derelict properties is in place, and citizen participation in the ongoing work of the court and the city inspections process has been encouraged. Leadership for neighborhood change and improvement is always welcome and Judge Henry Nowak has provided dedication, innovation, and inspiration to the work of the Housing Court for the betterment of Buffalo and its neighborhoods. Read more >>>
LISC Marked Its 25th Anniversary in 2005
In 2005 LISC celebrated its 25th year assisting community-baseddevelopment organizations transform distressed community into healthy ones. Our Leadership Conference and 25th Anniversary Gala took place in Washington, D.C. in September 2005.
The meetings and visits with members of theHouse of Representatives and the Senate provided unique opportunitiesto share the work of our community development partners with keyfederal elected officials.
Buffalo LISC representatives presented an award to Senator Hillary Clinton for her support of our work.
Donor Spotlight: The John R. Oishei Foundation
The John R. Oishei Foundation'smission is to enhance the quality of life for Buffalo area residents by supporting education, healthcare, scientific research and the cultural, social, civic and charitable needs of the community. The Foundation wasestablished in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico ProductsCorporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of windshieldwiper systems. Oishei's appreciation of Buffalo was the basis of hisstrong desire that the work of the Foundation be directed to theBuffalo community.
The Foundation has been an important partner for LISC's community development work. And in 2005, the Foundation's support helped LISCbecome one of only seven sites around the country to be selected for an assessment from the National Vacant Properties Campaign. They also assisted the redevelopment efforts of a faith-based collaborative on Buffalo's near East Side, and provided vital financial support for theunique and valuable work being done by Housing Court Judge Henry Nowakand a very involved group of Buffalo neighborhood advocates.
We thank the John R. Oishei Foundation for its support of ourefforts and for their consistent investments in the betterment ofWestern New York. Read more >>>
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