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726 Exchange Street
Buffalo, NY 14210
Kaleida Health Reissues Proposal Request for Former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital Site
Chason Affinity, selected last August to develop the site, was unable to recruit a veterinary school as previously planned.
“We, as a community, had a wonderful opportunity to bring an exciting project to Buffalo and Western New York. And that was a fully functioning veterinary school,” said James R. Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “The entire community rallied to help make this a reality. We learned so much through this process and are most proud of our effort to find a solution for the reuse of the campus. But now we must move on, regroup, and start an expedited process to award the development rights to a qualified developer.”
Kaskie thanked Governor Cuomo and Lt. Governor Duffy and their respective staffs for their assistance. He also credited Howard Zemsky, Christina Orsi and the entire Western New York Regional Economic Development Council for their leadership, time and commitment to the project.
A project advisory committee led by former Kaleida Health Board Chair Edward F. (Ted) Walsh Jr. and Robert Shibley, the Dean of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, worked for 18 months to promote communication between the community and the hospital reuse process. The reuse committee included neighbors, block club leaders, local business leaders, planners, community activists and other interested parties.
Kaskie thanked Walsh, Shibley, and the committee for their “tireless efforts and tremendous work” during the reuse process.
Last year, following that community-led task force to help determine the best use for the vacated hospital, Chason Affinity was selected for having the best reuse plan: relocate a veterinary school to the campus. Their proposal was based on the current shortages of veterinarians nationwide and lack of veterinary school slots.
Chason spent the past year recruiting the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, a DeVry Institute affiliate located in St. Kitts. Chason was also attempting to partner with Medaille College and the SPCA to create additional educational and training opportunities for students and veterinarians.
The new request for proposal (RFP) will be sent early next week (July 17) to local and national developers in order to award the rights for the campus to a qualified developer.
Kaskie added, “The landscape of Buffalo continues to change every day. As the Medical Campus continues to mature, the plans to relocate the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital to the Campus continue, and other development activities across the community continue, we believe a qualified developer will be able to pursue many different scenarios for the reuse of this site.”
Kaleida Health has already begun the reuse process for the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, which is scheduled to move to its new home in 2016. A similar development rights RFP for the Bryant Street campus is expected to be released by the end of this summer.
At the end of these processes, Kaleida Health can move forward with its core mission, which is improving the health of our community, while those who specialize in real estate matters can address the respective properties redevelopment.