Sen. Charles Schumer says M&T Bank's plan to create 1,000 new jobs in downtown Buffalo may help complete the Cars on Main Street project.
Speaking to reporters outside One Seneca Tower Monday with Metro Rail trains passing nearby, Schumer said shutting down Main Street to vehicular traffic since the 1980s has been a flop.
New York's senior senator said the new jobs being created by M&T Bank's new technology hub in Buffalo's tallest building will strengthen the city's application for a $25 million grant for the final phase of the Cars on Main project.
To date, the Brooklyn Democrat has helped secure $53 million for other portions of the project. He said he is optimistic the city's latest grant will be approved.
"The reason we're optimistic is the previous two grants have been regarded, not just by us, but by DOT, as extremely successful," Schumer said.
Mayor Byron Brown says if funding is approved, the city will have received over $100 million in grants for new infrastructure on Main Street.
"We have seen, as we have opened Main Street to vehicular traffic, sigificant economic development investment by the private sector that matches the infrastructure investment that has been put in by the public sector," Brown said.
Schumer said the Department of Transportation is expected to decide on the grant in three-to-six months. If approved, it would help cover the cost of returning vehicular traffic to Main Street between Exchange and Church streets.