BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The suspense over what would become of the Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital after Kaleida moved it into the new Gates Vascular Institute ended Wednesday night with the unveiling of two possible plans.
One involves almost entirely clearing the lot and building new. The other would see the renovation of the historic Gates building as the home of something Buffalo's never had before.
Bids are now officially closed for two of Buffalo's biggest development projects - the Webster Block and the former Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital. The city is considering RFP's from the Buffalo Sabres, Ellicott Development Company and TR Browning, Architect to transform the Webster Block from parking lot to downtown destination.
Office of Strategic Planning executive director Brendan Mehaffy said, "What the city of Buffalo has been looking for is something that's going to build on and complement the development that's been happening at Canalside. And in addition, we've been looking for something that's going to build off the recreational/entertainment activity that we have down there."
City officials wouldn't share details beyond that, merely teasing ahead by noting all the contenders have done impressive things in the past.
"We've got developers - individuals - with track records that responded here. So that's great for the city of Buffalo," noted Mehaffy.
City Hall will pick the winning bid in August.
>> see Uniland's proposal (.pdf 48MB)
>> see Chason's proposal (.pdf 21MB)
Kaleida Health Project Advisory Committee Chair Ted Walsh said, "Both involve using sustainable, and inviting the neighborhood and connecting to the neighborhood on both sides of Delaware Avenue."
Hundreds turned out for a public forum, to hear and see both developers present their plans. Public voices will play a key role in deciding who gets the bid.
"Kaleida cares a lot about this asset, and wants to hand the keys over to a developer who can appropriately develop it. So that the community - 10, 15, 20 years from now - looks back and says, 'Kaleida did a really good job,'" said Walsh.
The hope is to choose the finalist by summer's end. Kaleida wants to know - from residents of this area, especially - which of the two proposals you want to see take shape here. To see the developers' full presentations and make your voice heard, follow this link.
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