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Catholic Health Admin Center Design Released

The centralized Catholic Health System administrative center at 144 Genesee Street will be six stories and 140,000 sq.ft. in size.  It will be built on a Uniland Development Company parcel known as Block 21 in the Elm Oak Corridor at Genesee and Oak streets.  The primary entrance will be on Genesee Street.
Catholic Health is consolidating 700 employees into the new building that will be owned by Uniland and leased to Catholic Health.  Parking for 700 cars is planned in an adjacent parking garage.  The Buffalo-based architecture firm of Stieglitz Snyder will serve as lead architects on the project. The firm has helped shape downtown with projects including the Avant on Delaware Avenue. 
“Our healthcare ministry has made major advances in clinical quality and innovation as well as the effective use of healthcare technology. As we continue to transform healthcare in our region, we are making every effort to achieve the administrative efficiencies that are the hallmark of a high performing healthcare system,” said Joe McDonald, President and CEO for Catholic Health.
The administrative staff of Catholic Medical Partners is also expected to move into the facility following the expiration of the lease on their current Delaware Avenue offices in 2015. Catholic Medical Partners is an independent practice association of more than 900 area physicians who are closely aligned with Catholic Health. The move is expected to enhance collaboration on key clinical integration and quality initiatives to improve patient care across the continuum.
Consistent with Catholic Health’s mission and advocacy for responsible use of natural resources, the new facility will feature a wide range of environmentally-friendly features and high-efficiency systems in an effort to achieve LEED certification. The environmental impact of the building spreads far beyond its walls with secondary impacts that include a significant reduction in vehicle traffic with associates no longer needing to travel between sites.
Work on the $46 million project is expected to start at the end of the month and be completed in summer 2014.  The City is allocating $3.8 million in state development funding to the project.
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  • townline

    looking forward to seeing the site plan more than anything. Good first sign that the primary entrance will be on Genesee, though employees will probably be entering from a lot or ramp at the rear.

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    any more pictures?
    I smell some rehabs of those rundown buildings on Oak St in the near horizon. Perfect facelift for our out of town visitors as a first impression of BUffalO!

  • Travelrrr

    Trico would be perfect for them–I wish they would consider it.

  • benfranklin

    If you covered the difference in cost, and found parking for 700, I’m sure they’d consider it. Without knowing anything about their needs, how can you say it ‘would be perfect for them’. A credible rework plan for Trico becomes less likely with each baseless suggestion.

  • Andrew

    Looks like the price for a storefront in Genesee Gateway just went up 50%! This is a great project and will do wonders for Elm/Oak and Genesee street. And good for Eddie Brady’s who has been sticking it out on that corner for years.

  • Chris

    700 more people downtown. Not to mention sales, vendors, etc that will be in and out on a daily basis.
    This is just another step forward for the city!

  • townline

    Hopefully the building is designed so that those employees are actually a part of downtown – pedestrian access from this location is tough and if the building isn’t designed pretty well it may be almost non-existant. Those employees need to be able to easily walk to restaurants, other employers, the rail, etc, for the location to actually make any kind of an impact for downtown.
    Would this property be off the tax rolls because its Catholic Health?

  • Buffalo All Star

    Honestly dood..shut up. They would like to consolidate now..not 15 years from now once the future of the Trico is settled. You keep it up they’re going to build out in the dreaded suburbs at the Como apple tree mall.
    This is not the mixed use anchor I was hoping for..but I’ll tell ya this is much more than I thought was coming after last weeks post. They’re going with a garage as well..I think this is a win all around. 5to81’s got it..this will breate a little more hope to the near Eastside and multiple potenial reno’s on Genesee and Oak.

  • Travelrrr

    Yeah, “dood”, I am sure my posts on BRO are going to sway Catholic Health’s plans to come into the city.
    Trico has other prospective tenants, and a parking is apparently in the works. So, this could be a part.

  • schvanstuchen

    More and more companies opting to locate their business downtown. Suddenly it’s the place to be! Wonder if National Fuel and Independent Health have any regrets…

  • elmdog

    I love this build and building- coming off the 33 has always been drab and unassumming into the city…This will give a new impression of Buffalo coming into downtown….Please have a big lit up sign on the building stating who you are….700 people all at one location instead of being at 10 different locations scattered around Buffalo…Win Win…I dont care if there is a large parking area…Because what is there now is an empty lot……Please start now

  • buffaloroam

    Townline,
    This property is on the tax rolls as the Buffalo First Article states that Catholic Health would be leasing from Uniland. So it’s a win win win for the city, Catholic Health and Uniland in that Uniland a private company will own it and make a profit off of the lease, the city will get an expensive new building on the tax rolls and Catholic Health saves a million a year on their own leasing expenses. Surprised they haven’t done this sooner.

  • leggomyeggo

    Good news for downtown and Genesee Street!
    Just wondering though, if this is a consolidation, where are all their current offices? Is this a net reduction in office space? Will the city get any taxes from this property?
    Would be a shame if we just gave away $3.8 million to a non-profit to shuffle the deck and open up vacancies throughout the region… especially if that money takes away from what could be attracting new investment and expansion.

  • MidtownMike

    This has to help with the prospects for attracting tenants to the Gateway restoration project.

  • townline

    I think they’re in their various hospital facilities. I know many of the Admin/CEO offices are at Sister’s.

  • OU812

    you mean Univera…

  • atypical

    I cannot believe they’re not considering rehabbing the Erie Freight House! Such a missed opportunity 😉
    Seriously – design looks ok – wish the building were double in height. Seems a bit squat with so much opportunity over there.
    Don’t we need more MD offices in the area or another hotel? 😉

  • The Boss

    agreed, just look at the disconnect with new Blue Cross building,

  • BuffaloBobZ

    Its a little suburban-y, but honestly i love that they’re consolidating into the new medical corridoor.(and that it’s 6 stories tall) This is going to be a first rate section of the city, and a real catalyst to bring the east side into the equation.

  • chetroia

    yea that building ecdia across the street I think it is it total suburbs office park. I hope we dont see anymore of those buildings that take up whole block

  • schvanstuchen

    yes, my bad

  • elmdog

    Does it look a bit too much like the Blue Cross Blue Sheild building

  • jim1234664

    I hope so but thats probably wishfull thinking…
    if the current price is more than anyone is willing to pay I would hope it doesnt double lol… the thing will be vacant until im 6 feet under

  • Linksfiend

    What is happening here? Noone deriding how far it’s set back from the street yet? Nor that there seems to be surface parking between the road and the building? I’m quite surprised.

  • Cam33r4

    I agree that pedestrian access is going to be tough. Cars are going to be whipping down onto Oak from the 33 at pretty fast speeds after all.

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    on a positive note, I think they position the building nicely with the 2-story entry going along Genesee creating a new curtain or RE that previously didn’t exit. I just cant help but laugh every time i see that “Lottery Building” across the street. Talk about a dump

  • bobbyraz49

    Looks great !!!
    Thanks Catholic Health for placing your building and 700 JOBS in Downtown Buffalo !!

  • 300miles

    It’s great that they’re moving downtown with all those employees. It sucks that we have to settle for their drive-thru site plan. Would the new zoning codes have permitted this, or is that stretch of Elm going to be zoned as suburban anyway? (just like North Buffalo)

  • 5to81ALLDAY

    it’s clear they wanted to operate on larger floorplates. Sure they could have built it bigger and made it look more urban, but i’m pretty sure they wanted it to be THEIR building and not have to worry about leasing the rest of the space

  • longgone

    What are you people talking about?
    There are pedestrian crossings at both Oak and Elm along Genesee. Unless someone decides to j walk there will be no issues in getting access to surrounding areas.

  • townline

    yes, such a lovely place to walk, almost as nice as the scajaqueda pedestrian bridge is as an overpass.

  • laldm

    From this rendering, the design for this building looks to be on the low side of mediocre, both in terms of architecture and urban design. That isn’t altogether unexpected. Medical office buildings are rarely bastions of progressive, adventurous architecture.
    But, you know what, Who Cares? It’s being built on a hard-to-develop plot of land surrounded by fast-moving expressway traffic, land that has been vacant for decades. It’s tall enough to add some bulk to downtown. And it’s adding 700 people to the downtown workforce, people that will eat lunch in nearby restaurants and maybe even rent a loft across Oak Street. Many of them are people that have never worked downtown before.
    I am usually one of the people screaming for bike lanes and other stuff like that here on BR, but this is one of those situations where we shouldn’t be picky and should just be happy that re-investment is happening. It’s nice to see a company so excited about coming downtown.

  • RobH

    A building of this size is sure to have an employee cafeteria, limiting spillover effects on the surrounding area. Still, if its enough to get something to open in Genesee Gateway, its a positive.

  • 300miles

    It’s not about making it bigger, it’s about designing it to tie with the surrounding streets instead of insulating it from the city with internal roadways and frontal parking.
    The city has said it wants to make Oak and Elm more pedestrian-friendly to build on the increasing apartments nearby. This new project could promote that instead of continuing with the anti-pedestrian designs.

  • paulsobo

    the only way you will get this building connected to downtown and the life sciences campus is to downgrade the elm-oak arterial and downgrade the Kensington Expressway to a parkway.

  • impressingagent

    Just reminded myself about how awesome parking is. People are totally wrong to complain. We should be marketing it.

  • pampiniform

    All they need to do to solve that problem is to get the people who run the cafeteria at Sisters to run the cafeteria in the new place. People will be streaming out in droves at lunchtime to escape food that bad.

  • 14213

    Oh good! A new Marriott Courtyard!

  • hamp

    Need to see a site plan.
    The building and its occupants will have little impact on downtown if they come and go from a parking garage in a building with a cafeteria. They will most likely rarely venture out. Or if they do, they will use their cars.

  • Buffalo: Then & Now
  • Buffalo: Then & Now
  • grad94

    yes indeed, in buffalo, all decision-makers log in at bro and cancel their plans if a single negative comment appears.

  • Sabres1970

    I work in the medical campus, and would love to venture out on foot for lunch. You know what my choices are on the east side of main st? Wendy’s…fast food wow, anchor bar…overpriced tourist trap, and Ulrich’s…TAX CHEAT). This is an area with over 5000+ employees between Roswell, Buffalo General, UB, HWI and others.

  • Buffalo_Resurrection

    Since the VP of Facility Planning will be too busy picking-out carpet squares allow me to request a donation from Uniland Development of $100,000 so St Elizabeth’s Home in Lancaster can replace their vintage 1955 boilers so the residents can have adequate heating this winter.
    What’s that? Kaleida plans on building an adult Home in Lancaster?
    Oh, never mind….
    Two steps forward for Kaleida, one more step back for CHS.

  • benfranklin

    Would be interested to know your opinion… it appears daily that people walk over into Allentown for lunch (not a huge number, but some).
    What would be the number one reason you wouldn’t go…
    a.) too far, not enough time to walk, order, get back.
    b.) quality of food not high enough to bother.
    c.) food too expensive.
    d.) don’t trust the neighborhood, Allen a bit sketchy by Main.
    Something totally different? Business owners in Allentown would be interested to hear.

  • sonyactivision

    It looks good, if a bit understated. Not the gateway landmark I would want to see at that site but a notch above a simple box and a parking lot.

  • Sabres1970

    Primarily “A” with a very small part of “D” mixed in.

  • saltecks

    If A. Maybe you need to work on a free shuttle service.

  • NorthBuf

    I work at the med campus and have the same issue, unless a food truck is camped out it’s not possible to walk to get a reasonably priced meal. For me it’s mostly A and a bunch of B. I’d be happy to go get a lunch but I can’t afford %10+/day or walk 3/4 mile each way.

  • benfranklin

    Thanks for the input (Sabres as well). How often is a food truck on the campus? Is the cafeteria food (if that’s an option) reasonably priced/decent quality?
    Personally, I like to get away from my desk at lunch. If you do sit down though, with tip, you can easily get to $12, which is affordable, but for some reason mentally hard to do everyday.
    On a totally different tangent, what would you think about getting an email around an hour before lunch, with the item(s) you’ve purchased previously (like 3 favorites), with a simple click here to have this delivered in one hour, or, no thanks, not today. Too intrusive?

  • Joe E.V.

    I park behind the library every day and have to cross Oak-it’s brutal, traffic flies past at 40-45. Anyone who jaywalks has a deathwish. Traffic here needs to be slowed and crosswalk timing needs to get more ped friendly, especially if you want to entice 700 people to leave the office and walk around downtown.

  • Joe E.V.

    Have you tried Coco yet at 888 Main? Good food.

  • longgone

    What the heck are you talking about?
    Walking to the Genesee Gateway is a stroll. As is everything down Chippewa. The fronts along Oak between Genesee and Tupper are also prime.
    Heading North is not a challenge as well but will give that walking under the overpass is not pleasant. That said, neither is the destination (right now) once you do. The original concern was if people could connect to downtown and it’s silly to think they wouldn’t be able to with ease.
    If you think the ‘view’ in unpleasant you would be right. It is. But if anything this project is going to change that. It extends downtown by putting 700ish people on the outer edge.

  • saltecks

    If A. Maybe you need to work on a free shuttle service.

  • benfranklin

    Are we allowed to ask what happened to 888?

  • longgone

    So what you’re saying is that if you j walk…you might run into some challenges? My reply to that is to let natural selection take its course.
    If you use the pedestrian crossings you will have no problem at any of these crossings. Even better, if they need to extend the time between crossings…that’s an update to software.
    Honestly…there is not that much of a reason for this area to have long pedestrian crossings right now.

  • hamp

    Not mixed use, not dense, and not built to the sidewalk.
    So…..how does this meet the vision of the “Green Code”?

  • whatever

    The Green Code won’t mandate mixed use for every downtown project, will it?
    Some who are willing to be downtown won’t want mixed use (consider M&T, New Era, etc.)

  • WeAreTheNormal

    “Not mixed use, not dense, and not buillt to the sidewalk.”
    How can you possibly complain about a project that brings seven hundred jobs to downtown? You should change your name to “hemp” because you must be smoking something if you have any complaints about this project.

  • sbrof

    like it

  • Millz88

    Kaydara is very good. It’s in the Sidway building.

  • impressingagent

    The floating rectangle in the design could be more persuasive.

  • sonyactivision

    That’s a lighting opportunity, in case anyone connected with the project is reading. 😛

  • Cam33r4

    I’ve heard a lot of really good things about Kaydara, actually. Especially when compared to NoNoo on Elmwood or whatever it was that I heard was pretty awful…

  • JohnMarko

    Ha!
    My first thought was a mediocre residence inn or best western…
    But the thought process was the same.
    What is it with today’s designers?
    In this instance, I KNOW I could and have designed better…
    Sad really…
    Oh well, at least it’s SOMETHING, and better than what’s there now…

  • JohnMarko

    “Not mixed use, not dense, and not built to the sidewalk”
    These things are not what makes a project “green”.
    Energy use.
    Re-use of existing materials.
    Efficient use of new materials.
    Minimization of construction debris that require deposits to a landfill.
    Those are the main things.
    Don’t prove your ignorance by spewing off nonssense as commentary.

  • atypical

    The design is pathetic. Laura Zaepfel – you can do better. Fix this now.
    It looks like a modern La Quinta Inn!

  • hamp

    Calling people “ignorant” doesn’t really help your case.
    “Green” buildings are about a lot more than energy efficient building materials.
    With so many existing vacant downtown buildings (including Trico), the most green building would be the reuse of an existing one.
    Also…
    A building with a 700 car parking garage, which encourages more driving, is not green.
    A building that is not built to the sidewalk, and doesn’t encourage people to walk to it, is not green.
    A building that is surrounded by impermeable asphalt and concrete, is not green.
    A building that is designed as an “island” and not connected (through design or massing) to the rest of downtown, and is not mixed use (and thus a dead zone after 6pm) is not green.

  • sonyactivision

    Yeesh, sorry this building ruined your life…

  • Up and coming

    Personally I think that’s an amazing idea!

  • JohnMarko

    Again, don’t PROVE your ignorance by opening your mouth.
    Look at the criteria for a “Green” building – most of your items are not on the list for what determines a “Green” building.
    You don’t know what you’re talking about.
    There are 5 categories for consideration according to “Leed” Design Guidelines, none of which involve ANY of the items you proffer.
    The overwhelming “points” as to “Green” design are affected by the first two: Energy efficiency/use and Indoor Air quality.
    The next major amount of “points” goes toward Construction Materials and production (or rather, minimization of) Construction Debris. Re-use of an existing building can actually be DETRIMENTAL if the production of waste materials is even moderate (hazardous waste – asbestos removal, disgarded partitions, exterior finishes and glazing, etc.)
    Nearness to public transportation can be a factor – but its “credits” toward “Green” design is very small.
    Again, it helps to know what you’re talking about, which aparently you don’t.

  • JohnMarko

    I meant to reply to Hamp…

  • JohnMarko

    The LEED (“Green” code) design criteria don’t even address occupancy at all – that includes the mention of “mixed use”, etc.
    Neither does it address density or proximity to sidewalks/curbs.
    The issues on site criteria involve waste water, site drainage runoff, polution from existing toxins (brownfields), and excessive disturbance of site materials that can cause air pollution. Things like that.
    Hamp is very ignorant on this topic, as his responsed prove.

  • RPreskop

    This looks like a very beautiful, modern building in the architectural models. It is awesome to see another major office project coming into downtown rather than isolated in the outer ring suburbs like Clarence and East Amherst. We need more new architecture in this city. We also need more private sector investment in this city. I am looking forward to seeing this new office building rising out of the ground. As for Oak and Elm Streets, it is time for a major traffic calming plan to be implemented along both those streets and making them more urban and inviting. It is time to abolish their official name of Elm-Oak Arterial. It is also time to rid of that Elm Street overpass bridge on Seneca Street and bring Elm back down to grade level like it was before 1979.