Oliver Street Revitalization:
Lumber City Development Corporation has played an increased role in the revitalization of Oliver Street. Through the New York Main Street Program, with funding provided by the New York State Office of Community Renewal, eight Oliver Street businesses recieved grant funding for building facade improvements in 2015. In late 2018, LCDC was awarded funded through the OATH Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County to launch the Oliver Street Property Reinvestment Program. The Oliver Street Property Reinvestment Program helps commercial property owners with small scale enhancements to their buildings such as awnings, signage, windows, and doors. Encouraging Oliver Street investment though the New York Main Street Program and Oliver Street Property Reinvestment Program, will allow the corridor to become a thriving business district within our city.
"Re-Imagine Oliver Street" is an ongoing LCDC initiative, which is a resident driven community development approach. This initiative began in 2015 with two open forums for residents. At these well attended meetings, residents had the opportunity to share their needs and wants for the future of this corridor. LCDC will use all of the collected information for future development of the corridor. In addition, LCDC has organized many activities through the Re-Imagine Oliver Street initiative including street clean ups and the formation of an Oliver Street Merchants Association.
In 2018, LCDC was awarded funding from the New York State Office of Homes & Community Renewal to complete the Oliver Street Community Needs Assessment. Through a series of committee meetings and public meetings, residents discussed the strengths, limitations, and opportunities of the Oliver Street Corridor- and what they envision for the future of this key district within the City of North Tonawanda. This information was then used to compile the Oliver Street Community Needs Assessment, which set forth a series of detailed reccomendations which will help the overall revitalization strategy for Oliver. One of the more attainable strategies was the launch of a public art program. Through the OATH Community Benefit Fund for Niagara County, LCDC also recieved funds for the "Art on Oliver Street" program. Upon completion, Oliver Street will become a walking art gallery- with art pieces hanging in the windows of vacant and underutilized budilings and a large painted mural on the side of a building. Through the "Art on Oliver" program, it is our hope that it will beautify the street, promote walkability, and bring attention to buildings that otherwise would not be paid any attention.
The Oliver Street Merchants Association has been instrumental in the revialization of Oliver Street. This group, made up of local business owners, have joined forces to focus their efforts on community consensus building and street beautification. Some of their recent projects include raising funds to purchase 26 "Welcome to Oliver Street" banners, painting and filling of planters and installaiton of dog waste receptacles. The Oliver Street Merchants Association has also hosted a variety of community events including "Cash Mobs", pub crawls, a street carnival, clean ups, planting events, and window decorating contests. Keep up to date with future events and other news by following the Oliver Street Merchants Association on Facebook.
Lumber City Development Corporation is very excited for the future of Oliver Street as we move forward in 2019. Some exciting new projects include: an expansion project at Matt's Music, redevelopment of 664 Oliver Street, the grand opening of Brownie's Sports Bar & Grill (775 Oliver Street), opening of Old Editions Bookshop & Gallery, a streetscape project, and the reopening of the North Tonawanda History Museum.
Oliver Street- In the news: