Applications Being Accepted for East Side Avenues’ 2021 Community-Based Real Estate Development Training Program

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Community-Based Real Estate Development Training program which teaches East Side building owners and community members how to plan for and implement a commercial real estate development project. The program is designed to build a community of citizen developers on the East Side of Buffalo by empowering community members with the skills and knowledge to successfully complete a project. It is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $65 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund and funded in collaboration with private and philanthropic organizations who created a pooled, $8 million East Side Collaborative Fund to support capacity building and to develop and implement programs like this.

Applications for the Community-Based Real Estate Development Training Program are due January 6, 2021 by 5 p.m. and are available on the East Side Avenues website at There is no cost to apply or participate in the program. Students will be selected from the pool of applicants. Upon acceptance, there is a one-time non- refundable $100 registration fee.

The 23-week program provides an overview of the commercial real estate development process, including pre-development, construction management, property management, and financing the project from private and public sources. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, classes will begin as virtual sessions. The program adheres to State and County Departments of Health guidelines and, upon their recommendations, will return to in-person sessions when appropriate. Location is TBD.

 Classes are held on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 PM from March 3, 2021 – August 4, 2021.

  • Students are also required to attend the UrbanPlan class on Saturday, April 17, 2021 and the Construction Site Tour on Saturday, July 10, 2021. The UrbanPlan class is a realistic, engaging exercise in which students learn about the fundamental forces that affect real estate development. Through role play, students will become familiar with private and public sector roles, complex trade-offs, and fundamental economics in play when proposing realistic land use solutions to vexing growth challenges. Site Tour will provide students the opportunity to visit a local real estate development project that is under construction.

  • There will be four (4) additional Saturday sessions (9:00 – 11:00 AM) — attendance is strongly encouraged but not required.

    This is an adult education program and is completely non-credit bearing. Students who successfully complete the training program will receive a Certificate of Completion and be invited to participate in the Completion Ceremony in August 2021.

    The Community-Based Real Estate Development Training Program is designed to enable community members to develop their own properties, fostering entrepreneurial spirit and creativity and to better ensure that lands and buildings along the East Side corridors are improved in a manner driven by the East Side community. It will include the opportunity to apply for capital funding from ESD for those who complete the training program, that will support the renovation and reuse of their properties. The Community-Based Real Estate Development Training Program was developed through collaboration of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) WNY, and Empire State Development (ESD).

    Participants will be selected from a pool of applicants through a selection process which includes a written application and an in-person interview. Applicants will be reviewed based on their residency, ownership of commercial property (and its location), development experience, vision for commercial property development, entrepreneurship, and impact of the project.

  • Questions regarding this training program should be directed to the Program Director at

    About East Side Avenues

    East Side Avenues is a capacity building initiative developed to fund, plan and coordinate revitalization strategies and initiatives aimed at improving economic conditions in four main commercial corridors on Buffalo’s East Side. It is backed by a unique partnership of private and philanthropic organizations that created the pooled, $8 million East Side Collaborative Fund administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The grants and supports are being provided to complement capital funding that is being awarded by Empire State Development (ESD) as part of its $65 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund (ESCEDF), which is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion II initiative.

Learn more about East Side Avenues at