September 1, 2017 – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that work is now underway on the $5.7 million streetscape phase of the $70 million Northland Corridor project. Crews began the complete transformation of Northland Avenue, between Grider Street and Fillmore Avenue, which will create an attractive, walkable and safe corridor that will link the East Side neighborhood to the 35-acre training and jobs campus.
“A major focus of the streetscape project is to connect the on-site work, that’s well underway, to the community, helping to transform the surrounding neighborhood,” Mayor Brown said.
The streetscape project, which will be complete in late 2018, includes all new water and sewer lines, street paving, new curbs and sidewalks, new greenscape – featuring many street trees and plantings, and LED streetlights.
Another highlight will be the new traffic signal at this intersection to accommodate expected additional pedestrian traffic entering the re-imagined site.
“This will not only be an attractive corridor leading to the training and jobs campus, it will be a welcoming entrance to the Delavan-Grider neighborhood and Buffalo’s East Side,” Mayor Brown said.
Reverend William Gillison, pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church and leader of the Concerned Clergy of WNY, thanked the Mayor and the various City and State agencies leading the Northland Corridor Project for continuing to incorporate the needs and wishes of neighborhood stakeholders.
“This is a miracle that has been brought about because of the unity of all those involved on this project,” Rev. Gillison said. “For many of us, we’re watching a vision become a reality.”
Today’s announcement of the start of streetscape work, is one of a series of updates Mayor Brown has given over the past six months as the game-changing project has moved forward.
To date, demolition of two large former buildings on the idle industrial site have been demolished and work to rehabilitate a structure at 683 Northland Ave. Construction of the new WNY Workforce Training Center start will next month, with the anticipated completion date of Oct. 1, 2018.
“This is not a concept, this is the real thing and we’re making great progress,” said Peter Cammarata, President of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, which is the City’s lead agency on the project.
In today’s Northland Corridor Project update, Mayor Brown noted there is constant monitoring of the “Community Workforce Agreement,” that sets high goals for the employment of minorities, women, city resident and apprentices. Specifically, the project has a 25% minority, 5% female, 30% city resident, and 20% apprentice hour goals.
“The project workforce goals are being met and the first class of the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program is finishing up its second week of the paid, eight-week program. Our first group of five African-American trainees, which includes four men and one woman, all from the immediate neighborhood and nearby zip codes, have been hard at work,” Mayor Brown said.
Mayor Brown said the training program is on target to fulfill his promise to put 20 young adults through the program and put them on the pathway to full apprenticeships and well-paying careers in the trades.