Niagara Street improvements follow Rich's announcement

A day after Rich Products announced a multi-million dollar investment in its Niagara Street facility, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is detailing the city's plans to renovate the street. YNN's Katie Morse tells us where $10 million of funding is set to go, and what community leaders think of the plan.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — When you cross into the United States at the Peace Bridge, Niagara Street is the first thing you see.

"That's first impressions. What they see there, that's the way they see America," explained Casimiro Rodriguez, from the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY.

But the way the street looks today, with boarded up buildings and cracked pavement, isn't the impression community or city leaders want to give. That's why Mayor Byron Brown says 10 million dollars from the city and NFTA will go to revitalizing the street from Niagara Square, all the way to Tonawanda Street.

"Streetscape improvements, which will include paving, sidewalks, benches, trees, lighting. It will also include money for a complete renovation of Broderick Park," explained Brown.

The investment coincides with Rich Products announcement to put more than $18 million in its Niagara Street facility. Leaders say, something had to be done with the street itself.

"With that amount of money invested in any community, it draws excitement. The question is - is $10 million enough?" asked Rodriguez.

Community members say they're ready to see some changes in the area. They say while other neighborhoods in the City of Buffalo have gotten funding for different improvements, it's been years since they've seen anything new on Niagara Street.

"There hasn't been a shovel put into the ground I would say since the Family Dollar, Tops Supermarket, and we're talking 10 years ago. So what we need is some attention," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says he wants the community to be part of the conversation when it comes to where the money goes. Construction is expected to start next year, and much of it should be completed by 2014.

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