BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It won't be long before Women and Children's Hospital moves to its new home, and one local lawmaker doesn't want to see it become another vacant building in Buffalo.
Democratic State Assemblyman Sean Ryan doesn't just want to come up with ideas for the hospital, he wants a plan in place.
"The community deserves to have this process start immediately," Ryan said. "The last thing the community wants to see is in three years from now is Children's closed, vacant, with an uncertain use."
Wednesday the assemblyman urged Kaleida Health to work with the Urban Land Institute, or ULI, to help begin the redevelopment process. ULI studied redevelopment potential for the old Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital and H.H. Richardson Complex that, in part, is being turned into a luxuary hotel.
Children's Hospital is surrounded by family homes and is close to Elmwood Village businesses. It will be moving to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus by 2015.
Ryan doesn't want to see Children's Hospital become like the former Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital on Delaware Avenue. It has been empty for more than a year since its move to the medical campus. And though there is a plan in place to transform the building into a veterinary school, Kaleida Health says the developer won't make an announcement about construction until early this summer.
"The process to determine the future of Millard Gates did not start soon enough," Ryan said. "Kaleida should not wait"
"On the very same day Children's Hospital closes, construction crews should be moving in to determine its next use," he added.
Kaleida Health says it has held community meetings every single month to help develop a plan for the building after the hospital's closure.
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