ALBANY – A bill to encourage development of larger historic rehabilitation projects, especially in cities such as Buffalo, was sent to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday for his consideration – nearly six months after it was approved by the Legislature.
Developers in Buffalo already have said the bill, if approved, would get a number of stalled projects off the ground.
But the timing is not good. For starters, the bill was sponsored by Sen. Mark Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican whom Cuomo has politically supported. Observers believe if Cuomo was going to sign the bill, he would have done so before the November elections as a campaign present to Grisanti, who was criticized by his Democratic challenger during the race for not pushing Cuomo harder to sign the bill. Moreover, with Buffalo developers being the major promoters of the bill, some believe Cuomo would have signed it when he was in Buffalo on Tuesday.
It is uncertain what the state’s costs would be under the bill, which would raise the existing cap on available state tax credits for certain historic rehabilitation projects from $5 million to $12 million.
Andrew Rudnick, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said the bill would help development of abandoned and underutilized buildings in downtown urban areas and village centers.
“We encourage Gov. Cuomo to build on his record of accomplishment for Buffalo Niagara and sign this bill,’’ he said.
The governor now has 10 days to veto or sign the bill.