Uniland Development- Chapin Place
Uniland is working with Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Flynn Battaglia Architects, Janet Rosenberg + Assocaties and Enermodal Engineering/Sustainable Design Consulting.
Combining a mix of uses that create a compelling place to live, work and recreate, the development team, led by Uniland Development Company, proposes to initiate the project with a complete demolition of all eleven existing buildings to most effectively develop a new residential community surrounding a new park.
Chapin Place highlights include:
• Residences: 276 units of residential living options including condominiums, townhomes, luxury and market rate apartments, as well as senior living units. All units will have access to protected and/or underground parking;
• 11,550 sq.ft. of Retail: Dining and convenience retailers such as a restaurant, café, small market, pharmacy, bank, drycleaners, and flower shop;
• Health & Wellness: A Wellness & Fitness Center of approximately 80,000 sq.ft., also includes space for physician practices and other professional services; and,
• Urban Park: A one acre Olmsted-inspired privately managed urban park that not only serves as an outdoor living room for residents, but also welcomes visitors from surrounding neighborhoods throughout the day and evening.
On the northeast edge of the circle, a 60-room boutique hotel and restaurant would be built including meeting space for corporate and university functions. Townhomes would be built on the east side of Linwood Avenue.
Despite recent estimates exceeding $10 million for asbestos remediation and demolition, the plan requires an $8 million contribution from Kaleida to clean and prepare the site for new development. The Uniland team's responsibility includes remediation, demolition, development of all building improvements, and construction of the park.
The project schedule assumes a property ownership transfer of December 2012. Predevelopment work will take place the following year (2013) including design, engineering, regulatory approvals, as well as asbestos remediation and demolition of all structures.
New development commences in 2014 and full build-out is projected to take six years or less, depending on market demand. New residential supply will be introduced annually over a six year period, and commercial uses will be developed as soon as feasibility is established. Chapin Place is expected to cost $83 million to develop, house over 500 residents and produce 160 new jobs.
Uniland explains the reasoning behind demolishing much of the site:
After several tours of the hospital campus, the team identified numerous challenges to the existing structures that reduced their residual value including: low ceiling heights, narrow building dimensions, disorientation in wayfinding due to decades of expansions, and finally, relatively low architectural design quality. Design decisions seem to have been heavily budget based with little regard to future residual value.
In addition, the team decided early that any redevelopment should meet high standards to complement the prestige of Gates Circle and support other project objectives. For these reasons, it was determined that new construction made more sense than redeveloping the existing buildings.
Uniland is proposing a range of housing options- residential offerings comprised of one, two and three-bedroom condominiums, townhomes and apartments, including independent living senior housing units. Prices range from market rate to luxury. Over 603,000 sq. ft. of new development is proposed.
Chason Affinity- Veterinary Hospital
Chason Affinity is working with HWG Studio, Watts Architecture + Engineering, Atelier Ten, Barbara Campagna, AIA and Dr. James Brown.
Chason proposes acquiring the site and buildings for one dollar. The team would contribute the $1 million reuse prize to the veterinary school's start-up costs. Closing would occur when all approvals have been received, anticipated to be under one year from award. It will also seek to acquire the Buffalo municipal parking ramp adjacent to the property.
The $65 million development plan would preserve and rehabilitate the original 1911 Homeopathic Hospital as well as restore and rehabilitate the Center Building, West Building, Admissions Building, Medical Services Building and the Power Plant.
Bildings that surround the original hospital being the East Wing, part of the Research Building, part of the South Building, the Wood Shop and South Nurses Buildings would come down, allowing the 1911 buildings and green space surrounding them to be restored. In addition, there would be approximately 10,000 sq. ft. of new building construction.
Breakdown of Space by Use:
The Veterinary Hospital - would occupy the Medical Services Building and would use 112,500 sq. ft. of net space which would include the Auditorium. The balance of space in that building would remain as mechanical and support space.
Specialty Veterinary - would include Dental, Optometry, Cardiology, Neurology, Accupuncture and others and would use approximately 12,000 sq. ft. in the Center Building.
Academic Areas - include Classrooms, Study Areas, Library, Offices for Administrative and Professors/Teachers as well as miscellaneous support and would occupy 75,000 sq. ft. located in the following Buildings; Center, West and Admissions.
Social Areas - would include a Student Commons, Fitness Facility, Meeting Rooms, Community Space and a Large Multi-Purpose room which would occupy approximately 23,200 sq. ft.
Future Expansion Areas - Center and West Buildings would have approximately 77,300 sq. ft for expansion as additional courses are added.
Residents Housing - The original 1911 three building complex would be converted to a residential facility, housing approximately 100 students as well as support spaces. This would use approximately 60,000 sq. ft.
Power Plant - This area and equipment would remain and be renovated. The chimney would be removed. This area is approximately 50,000 sq. ft.
Balance of Space - after removal of the Buildings noted above, there is approximately 150,000 sq. ft. remaining, which is Mechanical, Basement, Elevator, Stairs and Support.
Total Retained Space - is approximately 510,000 plus 10,000 sq. ft. of new space. The renovated areas would make up 210,000 sq. ft. while the balance of 300,000 sq. ft. would remain basically "as is". This space includes basements, utility areas as well as much of the Veterinary Hospital.
Chason Affinity lays out the need for a veterinary school:
Nationally there is a critical area of education that has not been able to keep pace with the incredible growth in that same field. That is Veterinary Medicine. There are only 28 veterinary schools in the United States, of which only one was added in the last 30 years. Many talented and qualified students are attending veterinary schools outside the United States because there is no place for them here. Nationwide there are approximately 9 applications for each opening. In New York State only one school, Cornell, has a veterinary program and historically it has accepted only 50 in-state students per year.
Despite these undeniable statistics, only one new veterinary school, Western University of Health Sciences, opened 5 years ago. Although the need and demand are well known, the cost is prohibitive because it requires building a Veterinary hospital. Such a hospital is essentially the same as building a medical hospital for people, which is generally not affordable for this use. Therefore, the possibility of building a new Veterinary school is out of reach for most institutions today.
Chason's architectural team, along with its veterinary advisors, confirmed that the facilities needed are basically in place at the Gates site and are easily adapted. By reusing the hospital in this way, it would be "preserved" while bringing a new business to Western New York.
The expected student body would number approximately 600, considering a 4-year curriculum as well as advanced specialties. Other additional classes will increase this number significantly. The professors, teachers, administration, hospital personal and support could easily bring over 200 new permanent jobs.
Chason would begin immediately to seek all approvals and finalize arrangements with the participating Veterinary institution and would purchase the property within one year.
The jury for the competing proposals is being led by Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, AICP, Dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. Other members include Steven Spillman, principal the Pacifica Companies and Maurice Cox, Professor of Architecture, University of Virginia.
The jury will weigh both the quality of the proposal - including programming, planning, design, and financing - and the capacity of the developer to execute the project. The $1 million first prize will be awarded contingent on closing a property transfer agreement to the winning team. The Kaleida Health board of directors will ultimately decide which team, if either, gets the award and development rights to the property.