Kaleida Health Announces Developer for Former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital Site

Updated: 11/18/2013

Kaleida Health has designated TM Montante Development the developer for the former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital site.

TM Montante Development, whose local roots date back more than 75 years, plans a mixed use development that will feature a $28 million downtown campus of Canterbury Woods as its centerpiece, along with other elements.

“TM Montante’s proposal is visionary, is a great reuse of the hospital campus and clearly meets a community need,” said James R. Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “Bringing Canterbury Woods into the City of Buffalo will be a tremendous economic impact, add jobs, and redefine retirement living in this neighborhood.”

Canterbury Woods, the region’s premier Continuing Care Retirement Community, is sponsored by Episcopal Church Home & Affiliates, which has been providing healthcare and related services to the Western New York community since 1858.

“Providing local residents the chance to remain in or relocate to the city’s core while taking advantage of the lifestyle that Canterbury Woods offers, is a landmark opportunity,” said Rob Wallace, Episcopal Church Home & Affiliates president and CEO. “For our part, we believe bringing Canterbury Woods to Gates Circle addresses a need and is in keeping with the important residential history of this beautiful city neighborhood.”

Canterbury Woods will feature independent living and assisted living apartments prominently situated on Gates Circle facing Chapin Parkway.

TM Montante Development will invest $35 million to develop a series of mixed-use facilities, including market-rate and for-sale residential options, retail and a community health and wellness center. The project will feature a number of green and sustainable design elements, including a meaningful solar component as a source of alternative energy, as well as significant green space. The plan seeks to extend Lancaster Avenue through the site to connect with Linwood Avenue.

Environmental remediation and site preparation is expected to start in the spring of 2014, with construction activity targeted for late 2014. The majority of development is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

“Having the chance to develop an important site such as Gates Circle, with like-minded, committed partners and tenants, is truly an unique opportunity that we are privileged to be part of,” said Timothy Vaeth, president, TM Montante Development.

TM Montante Development is a full-service developer of commercial and residential real estate projects with eight decades of business experience. The company has developed several properties across the region, and has an established reputation for incorporating energy-conscious solutions into its development plans.

Opened in 1999, Canterbury Woods was the first senior living community in Western New York to offer a life care continuum. It received its fifth consecutive overall five-star rating from US News & World Report earlier this year.

"The TM Montante and Canterbury Woods plan to redevelop the Gates Circle site is very exciting," said John Koelmel, chair of the Kaleida Health Board of Directors. "Bringing life back to this campus takes a good dose of courage, passion and vision. The Board of Directors is pleased to see the confidence and conviction of the developers; this project will truly stimulate the neighborhood and the City of Buffalo."

“I am proud of Kaleida Health’s selection committee and the Board of Directors for keeping the values and goals expressed by the community during the planning process at the forefront of its decision of a developer,” said former Kaleida Health Board Chair Edward F. (Ted) Walsh Jr., who led a community advisory committee for the hospital reuse. “Today’s announcement of TM Montante as the developer with Canterbury Woods as the centerpiece demonstrates Kaleida Health’s commitment to the community and is an exciting moment for Buffalo to celebrate.”

Robert G. Shibley, the dean of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, founder of the Urban Design Project and a lead consultant on city and regional projects including the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Buffalo, helped facilitate the public dialogue process for Kaleida Health. He said, “I think everyone understands the significance of this site on one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s great parkway circles. The residential use proposed is entirely appropriate, consistent with the community values expressed by the citizen advisory committee, and offers a design that is sympathetic to that context.”

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 at the end of 2016. A similar development rights RFP for the Bryant Street campus is expected to be released in 2014.

Kaskie added, “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.”