The removal of an eyesore along the I-190 downtown is complete.
The steel frame for the original Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and Hotel complex has been completely removed and work on a smaller casino is expected to get underway soon.
In the meantime, Seneca Gaming Corporation today awarded nearly $1 million in grants for neighborhood improvements near their casino at Michigan Avenue and Perry Street.
Among the 15 awardees is the Old First Ward Community Association. Director Laura Kelly says the association's $100,000 grant will be used to fix up residential and commercial buildings.
"This is the first time in many, many years, at least ten years or more, that any funds have been directly targeted to the Old First Ward and the Buffalo River neighborhoods, so this is a huge, huge benefit," Kelly said.
Other awardees include the Edward Cotter Fireboat Project, The Buffalo River Rowing Center, The Valley Community Association, and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority for its Perry Choice Neighborhood initiative.
BMHA Board Member James Pitts says the area is one of the best kept secrets in the city.
"We think that this is a great opportunity to develop a new business model between the casino and the community. We think that the fund and the projects that have been funded are going to act to bring this area back," Pitts said.
Pitts points out work on the new casino and other projects downtown totals nearly $2.2 billion.