Daily Archives: Apr 5, 2018

City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

Request for Proposals

April 4, 2018


The City of Buffalo (“City”), through the City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (“BURA”), is seeking proposals through the federal HOME Investment Partnership Program from qualified not-for-profit agencies to acquire, rehabilitate and manage a HOME-assisted multi-family rental housing development located at 413 East Delavan Avenue (The Property).  The development consists of ten rental units (six–three bedroom units and four-two bedroom units), adjoining office space and available on-site parking.

Additional properties owned by the City of Buffalo, located adjacent to the East Delavan site are available for redevelopment.  The respondent may consider and address these sites within their proposal but it is not a requirement in order to be considered.

The Property is currently held by a third party and BURA, on behalf of the City of Buffalo, will facilitate transfer of the Property to the successful developer.

Restrictions regarding the use of the property as affordable housing will be enforced through March, 2023 (the “Affordability Period”).  The City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency currently holds a first position mortgage lien of $818,322 that must be assumed by the successful applicant.

Applicants must be incorporated as for-profit or non-profit entities to undertake affordable housing activities within the boundaries of the City of Buffalo.

It is the policy of BURA that all local Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE’s) be encouraged to submit proposals.  BURA continues to ensure that all locally owned M/WBE’s are afforded the maximum opportunity to participate as Applicants or Sub-Applicants in the provision of goods and services for BURA.  BURA encourages the award of at least thirty percent (30%) of the total dollar value of this project directly or indirectly to M/WBE’s.

Proposal Submission Deadline: Friday, May 18, 2018, 4:00PM.

Request for Proposals submissions are due to:

                          Yvonne C. McCray, Director of Housing

                            City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

                      65 Niagara Square

                        Room 315 City Hall

                       Buffalo, N.Y. 14202


RE: City of Buffalo HOME Investment Partnership Program RFP Submission

413 East Delavan Avenue, Buffalo NY

A full copy of the Request for Proposals can be picked up in 315 City Hall or 920 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square Buffalo NY 14202, the Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY 14203.  The RFP can also be found on the City of Buffalo Website www.city-buffalo.com/BuraBids

Kenneth Morris Jr. is well on his way to creating one million abolitionists. The descendant of Frederick Douglass is in Rochester this week, and during an event Tuesday he gave away more than two dozen copies of his great-great-great-grandfather’s first autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.”

Morris, who is also a descendant of Booker T. Washington, is the co-founder and president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, an organization fighting human trafficking. One of Family Initiative’s current projects is One Million Abolitionists, which aims to distribute a million copies of Douglass’s “Narrative” to students — the new bicentennial edition features a re-designed cover and statements from Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives founders Morris, Nettie Washington Douglass, and Robert J. Benz along with several prominent Douglass scholars and enthusiasts.

Douglass “wrote it at the age of 27,” said Morris. “He was only seven years removed from slavery, and he was a fugitive at the time.”

Morris said after Douglass escaped from slavery, some Northerners had a hard time believing he was ever in bondage because he was “so eloquent” and dressed well. In the 1845 book, Douglass details his time in slavery and his escape. And it sold well, Morris says — more than 5,000 copies sold within months of publication, which was quite dangerous for a fugitive. But the book gave many people an inside look at slavery and this was instrumental in turning the tide in abolitionists’ favor.

More than a century later, Morris now wants to use the book and his family legacy to educate and mobilize young people, especially against modern day slavery.

“Our purpose is to bring the guidance of history to the fight against modern forms of slavery,” Morris said. “As part of the present-day abolitionist movement we strive to educate young people about all forms of forced servitude and human trafficking and inspire them to action.”

Locally, about 2,500 will be handed out due to a partnership with Michelle Garcia-Daniels. She founded the Frederick Douglass Club and has been introducing local students to the historical icon for several years. She met Morris in 2009.

“I was so inspired,” she said. “I took a lot of the information that he gave me and I brought it back to school 12. One of the major things we did at School 12 was learn about Douglass and about how he learned how to read. Through reading, he gained freedom.”

School 12 and the Frederick Douglass R-Center, where Tuesday’s event took place, is on the South Avenue site where Douglass’s home stood for 20 years.

Writers & Books and the local Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemoration Committee are also part of bringing the One Million Abolitionists program to Rochester. To learn more about the project, visit fd2018.org.

Morris, on Thursday, April 5, will give a presentation at the University of Rochester about the project, his family’s legacy, and using education to fight modern slavery. Hawkins-Carlson Room at Rush Rhees Library. Beginning at 5 p.m. Free and open to the public. 276-5744; sas.rochester.edu/aas.


Six months after hurricanes ravaged the island, Puerto Rico experienced a tourism boom this Easter.

By: CNN Money

Tourists flocked to the island for Easter, Passover and spring break vacations in record numbers,according to The Puerto Rico Tourism Company, a San Juan promoter for tourism on the island.

Many hotels operated at or near 100% occupancy during the holiday weekend that began on March 30. The Tourism Company said the surge is evidence that the tourism is on the rebound.

Travel and tourism are hugely important to the bankrupt island and accounted for more than 8% of its GDP in 2017, according to a World Travel and Tourism Council report.

Nils Stolzlechner, general manager of the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort near San Juan, said the 400-room hotel was sold out over the Easter weekend — a record for sales and occupancy. He said that guests spent twice as much at the restaurants and the casinos compared to any other Easter weekend over the last five years.

He said that many of the guests booked last minute and were skeptical as to whether the hotel would be ready for them until they got there.

“They were really surprised that the hotel was in the best shape it’s ever been,” said Stolzlechner. “When you come to our resort, you could never tell that the hurricane had hit.”

Right now there are 15 casinos, 4,000 restaurants, and more than 120 hotels open for business on the island, including Rincon on the Seas, a resort on the west coast of the island.

“The whole month of March has been quite good, better than last year,” said Arnold Ruiz, general manager for Rincon on the Seas.

Ruiz said that his hotel lost power for over a month after Hurricane Maria hit last year, and the beaches were eroded “pretty bad” and “lost quite a bit of sand.”

“The first couple months there was a lot of bad news; the image was that the whole island was devastated and nothing was happening here,” he said.

But Rincon on the Seas has been up and running since November and the beaches are starting to recover as the sand naturally returns to the shore, he said.

Hurricane Maria reached Category 4 levels when it slammed into Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, wiping out power for nearly all the island’s three million residents and causing billions of dollars in damage. It was a one-two punch, because Puerto Ricans were still trying to dig out from Hurricane Irma, which pummeled the island just two weeks before.

For months, the media was dominated by images and stories of the blighted island and its hard-hit residents, who languished without power, food and medical supplies. A Vietnam veteran told CNN that surviving the storm was worse than going through combat.

One of the biggest challenges for the tourism industry right now is convincing tourists on the mainland US that it’s alright to come back to Puerto Rico, the Tourism Company said. Though some parts of the US territory are still badly damaged, San Juan and other parts of the island have a functional infrastructure. In San Juan many hotels are at full capacity, bolstered not only by tourists, but by contractors who are rebuilding the island.

“I’m trying to convince people that it’s totally fine,” said Tammy O’Hara, a travel agent with Million Miles to Roam, a New York agency. “I think there’s still some skittishness going on. I have a relatively large group that’s trying to go and they’re still on the fence.”

O’Hara said she’s planning to make a trip to the island herself to take pictures of functioning hotels and sandy beaches to show them to her clients.


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