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brbrSchumer Tours the Statler Building With Local Developers, Pushes Two-Pronged Plan to Spur Development of Dozens of Vacant and Underused Historic Buildings Throughout Buffalo for New BusinessesbrbrSchumer Pushes to Extend New Markets Tax Credit Expand Historic Tax Credit to Better Benefit Developments in Buffalo Plan Will Increase Federal Support for Job-Creating Projects and Encourage Downtown GrowthbrbrSchumer: Revitalizing Historic Buffalo Will Create Jobs, Boost Downtown Development Ho


Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched his twopronged plan to help revitalize dozens of Buffalo landmarks like the Statler Building, Richardson Complex, and the AM&A's building, by encouraging developers to renovate these underutilized historic buildings. Following a tour of the Statler Building on Delaware Avenue with local developers, Schumer announced his proposal to extend the New Markets Tax Credit, set to expire at years end, and his support of the Creating American Prosperity Through Preservation (CAPP) Act. Schumer's proposal would help harness the huge revenuegenerating potential of Buffalo's renowned historic buildings, and keep the recent progress of downtown's revival moving forward.


The CAPP Act would increase the Historic Tax Credit from 20 percent to 30 percent of investment costs for smaller projects that cost less than $7.5 million and make more buildings eligible for the tax credit. The CAPP Act also adds additional tax credits for including energy efficiencies in redevelopment projects and allows for any state historic tax proceeds to be exempt from federal tax. Schumer also announced his support to extend the New Markets Tax Credit which covers 39 percent of the investment costs for eligible development projects, and are targeted towards lowincome communities. The New Markets Tax Credit program has been a critical component of a number of Buffalo projects, and its extension is key to continuing on the progress that has been made downtown. Schumer noted that his plan to ensure the availability of this federal support will benefit a number of potential projects and help build on the success of local developments like the Hotel Lafayette and the Larkin District Development.


"Buffalo is chockfull of impressive historic buildings and downtown facilities prime for revitalization and new life, and I am launching a proposal to give Buffalo a thriving future, based on its noteworthy past," said Schumer. "Buffalo's potential for economic growth and new jobs through the development of buildings like the Richardson Complex, the AM&A's building, and the Statler is massive, and deserves federal tax credits to revitalize historic buildings as an alternative to the wrecking ball or years of neglect. We have seen the tremendous impact these programs have already had throughout Buffalo and by extending the New Markets Tax Credit and expanding of the Historic Tax Credit we can continue to build on that success. This effort will put people to work and better honor Buffalo and its proud history, and it will be a top priority before year's end."


"The big problem in Buffalo development is the proverbial gap that exists between what a project costs to complete and what the rent a project will support is. The only way to close that gap is by the equity that can be raised from the sale of New Market and Historic Tax Credits. That is why this effort is so important," said Rocco Termini, who recently used tax credits to help complete the Hotel Lafayette and other downtown projects.


"Federal tax credits like the New Markets and Historic Programs are crucial to downtown development. Without these programs it would be nearly impossible to continue to make progress on downtown redevelopment projects like Statler City, which is why Senator Schumer's efforts to extend and expand these programs are so important," said Mark Croce of Statler City LLC.


"The New Markets Tax Credit and the Federal Historic Tax Credit are a key component of our smart growth strategy in Western New York because they induce private sector investment in downtown Buffalo and in historic town centers throughout Western New York. Many of the exciting historic rehab projects we've seen completed in Buffalo during the past several years have been catalyzed by these tax credit programs. Extending these key Federal programs will maintain this very positive trend, which is why I am happy to help Senator Schumer push forward this effort," said Howard Zemsky


Schumer was joined by members of Buffalo's development community, including: Mark Croce of Statler City, Howard Zemsky of Larkin Development Group, Dennis Penman of Ciminelli Development, Gary Bichler of R&P Oak Hill, Peter Krog of the Krog Corporation, Laura Zaepfel of Uniland Development, and other members of the local development community. 


Schumer launched his plan after he toured Statler City on 107 Delware Avenue. The Hotel Statler was completed 90 years ago and overlooks the historic Niagara Square and could benefit from the expanded Historic Tax Credits and the extended New Markets Tax Credits as developer Mark Croce continues to redevelop this historic building. Schumer also cited the AM&A's department store on Main Street as a prime example of where these tax credits could help turn unused space into valuable business centers. The building, which has sat empty for nearly a decade, has the potential to be the centerpiece of a revitalized Main Street if developers can be confident of the continued existence and strengthening of the federal tax credits. Schumer also discussed the need to target the H.H. Richardson Complex with these vital tax credits. The complex, which was built in 1870 and the grounds were designed by Frederick Olmsted, has sustained years of decay.  

Schumer has long been focused on developing this plan to help revitalize historic buildings, rejuvenate impoverished neighborhoods and give downtown Buffalo a thriving future, based on its noteworthy past. For example, in July Schumer invited Howard Zemsky to Washington D.C. to speak before the Steering and Outreach Committee to highlight his work in Larkinville, and the importance of such tax credits in communities. Schumer felt that this was particularly important to demonstrate to his colleagues from rural communities, to better underscore the value these credits have on cities. Schumer, Zemsky and other local developers emphasize that with the fiscal cliff deal pending, it's critical that the New Markets Tax Credit and the Historic Tax Credit be extended and expanded to see development in downtown Buffalo continue on its current path. By bringing hotels, restaurants, businesses and other projects to these locations, young people, businesses and other residents would be encouraged to stay in Buffalo, particularly in its urban core.


Schumer addressed the urgent need to extend the New Markets Tax Credit, which would help leverage private investment and jumpstart the construction efforts in Buffalo. The NMTC program was created ten years ago in order to spur new business development and real estate projects. 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. The federal tax credits are allocated to banks and other organizations, who then review applications and award the tax credits to investors for specific projects. As congress begins to put together an end of year tax extender package, Schumer has highlighted the NMTC program as one of his top priorities.


Schumer is also a cosponsor of the CAPP Act, which would update the federal Historic Tax Credit. For three decades, the Historic Tax Credit has been instrumental in boosting the local economy of cities, towns and rural communities as it rewards developers who rehabilitate underused historic spaces for new businesses to use and attract new jobs. The CAPP Act increases the current 20 percent credit to 30 percent for projects under $7.5 million or less in qualified rehabilitation expenses and would incentivize the development of lessexpensive projects that could attract small businesses. This is also a green bill that grants an additional two percent tax credit to projects that increase energy efficiency by 30 percent or more. Additionally, it allows for any State Historic Tax Credit to be tax exempt for federal purposes, making it even more advantageous for Buffalo.