Buffalo Billion

Thomas O'Neil-White

Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled out a plan to turn New York State away from its current reliance on fossil fuels into a more energy-efficient state and create thousands of new jobs.


Some $50 million worth of new solar manufacturing equipment purchased by New York State for use in the Tesla manufacturing plant on South Park Avenue is currently sitting unused in a Niagara County warehouse.

After economic development corruption scandals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have finalized a plan to restore the comptroller's auditing powers over economic development contracts.

U.S. News & World Report

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the nomination of Eric Gertler to serve as president and CEO of Empire State Development. Gertler is executive chairman of U.S. News & World Report and has been on the board of ESD since June 2018. The attorney will assume his new role in September and outgoing CEO Howard Zemsky will maintain his position as chair of the state's economic development agency.

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The former head of key economic development programs for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, including the Buffalo Billion, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison by a federal judge on Tuesday.

Ciminelli sentenced to 28 months in Buffalo Billion bid-rigging case

Dec 3, 2018
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A Buffalo developer has been sentenced to 28 months in prison and ordered to pay a $500,000 fine in a bid-rigging scheme connected to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion'' economic redevelopment program. 

Tesla beats hiring target in Buffalo

Nov 16, 2018
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The Cuomo Administration has taken a lot of heat over the Riverbend project on South Park Avenue in Buffalo. The current home of "Tesla's Gigafactory 2" cost New York state taxpayers $750 million to build in 2014. And the jobs promised were slow in coming. But the solar panel factory has seen significant growth in recent months. 

File Photo / WBFO News

New York's fiscal watchdog says other branches of state government have damaged his ability to monitor where tax dollars go. Tom DiNapoli was in town to attend a labor political rally in the Buffalo Irish Center.

With millions of dollars awarded over five years, the 43North business competition has succeeded in generating excitement and publicity. Its track record in creating local jobs has not been as stellar. Charlotte Keith  has been reporting on their results for Investigative Post. While there have been some notable shortcomings, she says the competition is doing a better job at identifying companies more likely to remain in Buffalo.


Cynthia for New York

Democratic gubernatorial challenger Cynthia Nixon blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development process during a news conference Tuesday, just down the street from the Tesla plant in South Buffalo.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Cuomo Administration said it will continue its economic development strategy, despite recent criminal convictions connected to some upstate projects and an uptick in criticism about the policies.

Press Pass: Buffalo Spree's Best of WNY 2018

Jul 31, 2018

The Best of Western New York in 2018 is celebrated in the August issue of Buffalo Spree. In this week's Press Pass with WBFO's Mark Scott, Spree editor Elizabeth Licata touches on several categories. We begin with a discussion of the some of the winners in the food and drink categories.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo says as the head of state government, he bears some responsibility for the latest corruption scandal.

The roots of Thursday's convictions in the Buffalo Billion bid-rigging case in federal court in Manhattan can be traced back to the work of Investigative Post.  Stories produced by Jim Heaney and his staff prompted federal authorities to take a closer look at state economic development practices. While convictions have been secured, Heaney is calling on authorities to continue digging into the case.


A federal jury in New York has convicted key players of corruption in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo Billion' economic redevelopment program. 

LP Ciminelli

A New York jury is set to begin deliberations Wednesday in the trial of a former president of the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute and three developers, as closing arguments in another public corruption case continued.

Closing arguments are set for Monday in the corruption trial of a former associate of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His political opponents say the case has highlighted some legal but unsavory practices in New York.

WSKG News

Critics have been consistent in blasting state economic development efforts over their lack of transparency. That cloud may be lifted during the federal corruptions trial against Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, which begins today in Manhattan.

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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have dropped a major bribery charge against two former top executives of developer LP Ciminelli in a corruption case tied to Buffalo Billion funding.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul offered a response to Republicans who, earlier this week, took aim at the Buffalo Billion during an appearance by gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro.

File photo / WBFO News

Rejecting advice from Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) to shrink its plans, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority board Thursday voted to hire a consultant to plan extensions of Metro Rail.

Joed Viera

Bringing IBM to Buffalo was one of the big projects funded by the Buffalo Billion, Governor Cuomo's signature initiative to revitalize Western New York's economy. It was meant to be an innovation hub. But so far, the project appears to be headed in quite a different direction.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Yet another housing adaptive reuse project has had a ribbon-cutting, appropriately in a former mattress factory in Hamlin Park.

Northland Workforce Training Center

The City of Buffalo has always been considered a blue-collar town. However, with many in the baby-boom generation at or nearing retirement, there is a need to introduce and educate a younger generation to jobs that will be available in the coming years.

Poloncarz opposes Central Terminal funding plan

Jan 2, 2018
WBFO file photo

Not everyone's on board with shoring up the Central Terminal with  funding from the second round of the Buffalo Billion.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

It may have been colder inside Buffalo Central Terminal Monday than it was outside the towering landmark of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. That cold was the focus of a news conference by two state legislators calling on Albany to put $5 million from the $400 million Buffalo Billion II into the complex.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

A plan to restore the Niagara River Gorge’s original plant habitat will be unveiled Monday night in Niagara Falls.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

The second phase of investment from the state's Buffalo Billion initiative will be directed downtown. However, Buffalo won't be the beneficiary; instead, the money will provide a boost to the downtowns of Gowanda, North Tonawanda, Lackawanna and Dunkirk. 


43North

Cory Rosenfield knew the deal: in exchange for up to a $1 million state investment in his fledgling company, he would have to move the business to Buffalo for at least a year – and hopefully much longer.


WBFO's Mike Desmond

The chocolate just seems to stand out better against the revived and redecorated Parkside Candy store in North Buffalo. Public officials turned out Tuesday for the ribbon-cutting on a $250,000 rehabilitation of the sweets mecca.

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