Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Leveling the Field
In today's Buffalo News, local developer Rocco Termini was criticized by his competitors for seeking subsidies for his downtown historic rehab projects. Knowing that Termini probably would pursue historic tax credits (an increasingly common public/private incentive for the rehab of historic properties), I was curious to see what give-away was drawing the fire of his peers. A special city grant? A juicy assemblymember item? No, it was New York's Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund. Last I checked (this morning), that program is open to most upstate commercial projects (as a low-interest loan, not a grant), including some of the projects recently proposed by Rocco's critics. For my money, the question isn't whether Termini should pursue these funds, but rather why doesn't everyone else?