Article via Buffalo Business First
By James Fink
Nick Sinatra talks about the positive impact the redevelopment of the now-closed Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo will have on neighborhoods around the Bryant Street building.
He also speaks with his personal checkbook since he’s in the process of buying a house on Oakland Place, a prestigious street that’s in the shadow of the former hospital.
How he and William Paladino, president and CEO of Ellicott Development Co., renovate the building will have an impact on his street and others.
“Let’s face it, Oakland is a very rich neighborhood on many levels,” Sinatra said. “There’s a culture on the street along with an architecture and history that we respect and will honor.”
The outcome of the redevelopment of the nearly 8-acre property is a key issue in the Elmwood Village, Delaware District and West Side.
“While it is true that the hospital and the neighboring homes coexisted for 125 years, our goal was to find a developer and a plan that was as less invasive to the neighborhood as any project could be,” said Michael Hughes, Kaleida Health spokesman. “The easy thing would have been just to put a for-sale on the hospital and see what happened.”
Plans focus on a mixed-use effort with residential, retail and hospitality components anchoring the proposed $100 million-plus project.
“We’re at a great starting point,” said Ashley Smith, executive director of the Elmwood Village Association. “We consider this a great opportunity for the neighborhood and the city.”
A formal development plan and timeline will be in place soon, Paladino said.
“We will be, and are going to be, very sensitive to the neighborhood. And not just to Oakland but to other streets like Bryant and Hodge, too,” he said. “We fully understand the deep level of owner-occupied residences in that area. We will be respectful of that.”
The Ellicott-Sinatra plan provides development certainty for the hospital property between Bryant and West Utica streets and includes seven buildings and nearly 700,000 square feet.