Transforming Our Brownfields

Transforming Our Brownfields
Buffalo was historically a major manufacturing hub, with numerous industrial facilities situated along its waterfront and rail corridors. Similar to many cities throughout the Northeast and Midwest, our economy has been restructured over the past several decades, with many older industrial operations closing, leaving behind an environmental legacy that has rendered these parcels difficult and expensive to redevelop.

Under Mayor Brown’s direction, the City of Buffalo and its public and private sector partners have been very aggressive and successful at remediating and redeveloping brownfields. The New York State Department of State’s Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program has been instrumental in this effort by providing significant resources for the planning and redevelopment of brownfield sites.

The City has four ongoing projects under the BOA Program, with three studies that are directly incorporated into the Buffalo Green Code, including the Tonawanda Street Corridor, Buffalo Harbor, and Buffalo River Corridor BOAs. In addition, the Green Code is consistent with the South Buffalo BOA, for which a study has been completed and an implementation strategy is underway. The City is also applying for a BOA to encompass the East Delavan-Grider industrial area.

Below is a map of these BOA areas. Click here for more information about the BOA Program.

Despite their environmental challenges, the BOAs include several sites that that have significant prospects for redevelopment. The BOA studies provide in-depth analyses of these areas and identify strategic sites where redevelopment efforts should be focused.

The redevelopment of former steel manufacturing sites in the South Buffalo BOA, including the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park and the recently announced High Tech Hub at RiverBend, demonstrate that planning for the redevelopment of these areas is a critical step in their successful transformation. Under the Green Code, the BOAs will lay the groundwork for future brownfield redevelopment in Buffalo.


The diagram above illustrates the various components of the Green Code and how they relate to each other. Click here for a top-line description of each component.