SCHUMER LAUNCHES MAJOR EFFORT TO SECURE $35 MILLION IN JOB-CREATING NEW MARKETS TAX CREDITS FOR EXPLORE & MORE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM AT CANALSIDE; SENATOR SAYS MUSEUM IS NEXT IN LINE TO HELP BOLSTER CANALSIDE REVITALIZATION AND ATTRACT EVEN MORE TOURISTS TO BUFFALO’S WATERFRONT
Senator Says $35M Project Will Support Jobs And Regional Tourism, And Have A $400M Economic Impact; Project Is Underway And Attracting Private Donations, But Requires NMTC To Get Over The Financing Finish Line
Schumer Has Made The Extension Of The NMTC Program A Top Priority; Program Has Proved to Be Effective Time & Time Again
Schumer: New Markets Tax Credits Will Put The FUN In Funding For Explore And More Children’s Museum
During a visit to Buffalo, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today visited the soon-to-be Explore and More Children’s Museum, to launch a major effort to secure $35 million in New Markets Tax Credits to help bolster Canalside revitalization and attract even more tourists and investment to the Waterfront. Schumer said this $35 million project will support new and existing jobs, increase tourism, and could have a $400 million economic impact on the entire region. Specifically, Schumer laid out his plan to help push the forthcoming application for federal New Market Tax Credits (NMTC), which will help the museum developers pay for this job-creating project.
"It's hard to believe that less than a decade ago, Buffalo's Waterfront was a development wasteland. Today, 'Buffalo's backyard' is bustling with year-round activity. Tourists and locals alike come to Canalside to enjoy world-class restaurants, businesses, and family activities like ice skating and kayaking," said Senator Schumer. "And now, Explore and More Children's Museum is, literally, on the rise. With their award-winning programming and first-rate exhibits, Explore and More will welcome an estimated 250,000 visitors in the first year alone. This will be a huge shot in the arm for the Western New York economy, and a tremendous educational opportunity for Buffalo residents and tourists alike. I am going to fight tooth and nail for the much-needed federal investment for the latest major development, and the next major attraction, on Buffalo's waterfront."
According to Explore and More Children's Museum developers, this $35 million project will be a four-story, 43,000 square foot building, and feature exhibits such as the “Rooftop Garden”, “From Farm to Fork," and “Playing Together." Schumer noted that children and families, as well as students, will come to the museum from far and wide to learn about hydropower, the Erie Canal, sustainable food, and the history of Buffalo as the "City of Light." In addition, current estimates show the museum could attract nearly 250,000 visitors in the first year and will have an estimated $400M economic impact. The museum is expected to be completed by early 2019.
Schumer was joined by Michelle Urbanczyk, CEO of Explore & More Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum.; Mayor Byron Brown; Sam Savarino, President & CEO of Savarino Companies; and Barry Swartz, Board Chair, Explore & More Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum.
“Explore & More is excited and humbled by Senator Schumer’s recognition of our organization,” said Michelle Urbanczyk, Chief Executive Officer at Explore & More. “These tax credits are a catalyst that will further launch us into the future, and help us to make a meaningful impact in this special Western New York community. As we move forward, we continue to carefully explore, evaluate and prioritize all commitments and fundraising opportunities that will allow us to carry out our important work for years to come. Our work, and the road to support it, is an enduring focus.”
Schumer has long been a champion of the NMTC program. The program was established in 2000 with the goal of spurring economic development in low-income communities through the use of tax credits, and Schumer always goes to bat to extend the New Markets Tax Credit program, to help leverage private investment and jump-start construction efforts in communities like Buffalo. The Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI) within the U.S. Treasury Department accepts applications annually for the NMTC program. Through the NMTC, Community Development Entities (CDE) or financial institutions like banks apply to the CDFI to receive a tax credit allocation and, if awarded an allocation, then serve as intermediaries to accept and distribute tax credit allocations. In exchange for investing in qualifying projects, individual investors and corporations can receive a tax credit on their federal income tax return, creating an incentive for individuals to invest. By selling tax credits, the CDE can raise large amounts of equity for identified economic development projects such as the redevelopment of the Sibley building.