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Big Reveal: First TM Montante Building at Lancaster Square at Gates Circle

Development partners TM Montante Development and Morgan Communities have unveiled the next building at Lancaster Square at Gates Circle. The development team is transforming the former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital site into a vibrant, urban place with new residential units, office space, and neighborhood retail.

The six-story mixed-use building at the northeast corner of Delaware Avenue and Lancaster Avenue that will include retail on the ground floor and approximately 60 residential units on the upper floors. It comes after an extensive community outreach effort that included meetings with the Gates Circle Community Advisory Committee (CAC), area block clubs, and other local community groups and organizations.

 

“Ever since we started the redevelopment of the former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital site, we have been very mindful of the importance of a thoughtful development process that integrates the values of the community,” said Christian Campos, President of TM Montante Development. “The design of this building is anchored in those community values.”

Beginning in the summer of 2016, the development team worked with the CAC as well as Robert Shibley and Bradshaw Hovey of the University at Buffalo’s Regional Institute to create a design review process for the building. This included both a competitive RFP for architecture teams as well as the input of a professional Design Review Committee.

Importantly, the RFP also included a “Design Values Statement” that was developed collaboratively with the CAC and highlighted specific design considerations that respondents were required to address in their proposals. In December 2016 the development team selected BLTa, a Philadelphia based firm that has successfully designed mixed-use projects throughout the eastern United States, as architect.

According to Campos, BLTa understood and addressed the design values included in the RFP in their building proposal. “We are working with a firm that recognizes the importance of Buffalo’s architectural heritage. Their approach has been respectful of that history, and will also build upon it by designing a building that is an expression of this time and this place.”

After the selection of BLTa, the development team re-engaged the community to elicit feedback on the new project. “The response from the community has been very positive. We’re hopeful that the Planning Board will determine that our site plan application reflects the significant amount of community collaboration and support,” said Campos.

Kevin Morgan, Vice President of Morgan Communities, stated that the involvement of the community has been essential to the project’s development. “In the brief time we’ve been in Buffalo meeting with members of the community, we have been extremely impressed with the passion and affection they have for the Gates Circle site. We are very excited to be partners with TM Montante Development as we take the next significant step in this transformational project for the City of Buffalo.”

Work on the six-story building is expected to begin this summer.  A proposed YMCA is no longer part of the Lancaster Square project that will include two additional mixed-use buildings on the site.  TM Montante is still determining what will happen to the remaining hospital buildings that front Linwood Avenue.  Plans to redevelop the historic structure did not qualify for Historic Preservation Tax credits.

Get Connected: TM Montante, 716.876.8899

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Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • Mr. B

    “Looks too suburban/too tall for the Green Code/has too much parking/those materials are terrible/why is the color so dark/when is Buffalo gonna hire some real design experts . . .”

    Did I miss anything?

    .

    • Flyguy2pt0

      Too tall says nearby Elmwood Avenue

    • It’s actually not tall enough. The original plan was 7-8 stories!

    • BuffaLife

      There’s a tiny run-down shed on this property that should be designated a historic landmark. Protests from a small vocal minority are underway.

    • Flyguy2pt0

      Something to do with Super Heating off the facade of the new build glass melting people and objects in the surrounding area like an Archimedes Death Ray ala Park Lane Condominiums nearby. This argument against really happened.

    • Flyguy2pt0

      Something to do with Super Heating off the facade of the new build glass melting people and objects in the surrounding area like an Archimedes Death Ray ala the once proposed 33 Gates Condominiums nearby. This argument against really happened. I must say the second floor window in that rendering looks awefully bright and shiny. Might cook up a hot cup of coffee or hot cocoa. Or…

      Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus style…its raising property values nearby and thats a bad thing!!! Oh the horror! Or…

      Definitely bird flight patterns along the lines of the Peace Bridge or Queen City Landing.

    • Jack

      Too suburban? Buffalo’s not a big city. This is a very good size for uptown Buffalo. And guess what? People in America drive cars. They need parking spaces along with spaces for visitors or shoppers since this is mixed use. And since when is LIGHT gray a dark color? You want pink? I personally love the gray and the texture of the facade. I loves the rounded end and the sharp angle into what might be a garden area. Personally I think it is beautiful, upscale and just right for the Gate Circle area. I am sooo tired of every new design being put down. Yes, there are a LOT of terrible new designs but it seems like almost every new building put up someone writes on this website how awful they are. Many are, some are not. This design is a good one.

      • jonny99

        Hey Jack, google ‘sarcasm’

      • greenca

        You’re obviously new here.

        • Liz Benz

          BAHA! Dying at this thread!

        • Jack

          I am new to posting comments here but not to reading BR. I’ve been reading this blog for at least 10 years. I moved to Philadelphia (had to leave my beloved Buffalo for a job) but I’ve always been eager to see what’s happening in the city. And I especially got a kick out of reading the comments. Quite often they were my comedy moment of the day. I guess I decided to test the water and see if I got my head handed back to me. But really, I don’t want to write to read my name or comments on the Internet. I have loved Buffalo and have gone on and on about it to my friends and co-workers here in Philadelphia. I get them intrigued by telling them that minus the historical aspect of Philadelphia, in many ways Buffalo is like a smaller version of Philadelphia. Well, I probably have breached the protocol of keeping to the topic so I’ll stop here for now.

    • MrGreenJeans

      You missed any intelligent thought, yes.

  • Jordan Then

    Looks great.

  • Josh Robinson

    I think this looks better than the Canterbury Woods building itself – a nice, consistent facade that addresses the corner nicely with a rounded shape. It’s a somewhat awkward parcel shape, but I think they did a nice job of making it work.

    The concerns of retail on this corner somehow cannibalizing Elmwood seem totally overblown, as this will mostly service the residents and renters living in Lancaster Square.

    • Flyguy2pt0

      Expanded market size and demand helps offset the risk of cannibalizing in an era when retail is clearly already getting hit hard by online sales and changing buying habits. Elmwood shoots itself in the foot when it resists opportunities to expand foot traffic and get more permanent residents and density (that also means a couple extra floors of height).

  • 300miles

    Nice!

    Any timeframe mentioned for construction?

  • Flyguy2pt0

    Would never fly on Elmwood

    • eagercolin

      And that’s a good thing, since the EV is a special place full of inherently artsy and diverse-yet-all-white people who singlehandedly transformed Elmwood from some sort of ghetto hellscape into THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD IN AMERICA through nothing more than their own funky greatness!

      • bufforward

        LOL

      • Eric

        I usually hate the snark and sarcasm here, but that is a well deserved critique of Elmwood Village self-absorption.

  • Let Buffalo Rise

    This is a nice modern building that will help this city break the mold of making everything look like it was here in 1901. We need more of this.

    Well done.

    • 300miles

      Everything? I’m trying to think of a single new build that was made to look like it was built in 1901. The only one I can think of is the Delaware North building’s 1st floor – but even the rest of that building is modern.

  • Fly Street

    Way to totally ignore your neighbor (Cantebury Woods).

    • 300miles

      It perfectly matches the site plan, actually.

  • rustbeltbrett

    Nice how those $$$ units in Canterbury woods get a view of a wall 10 feet away. They shouldn’t even build that. Hope the tenants lined up for occupancy didn’t see this!

    • Johnny Pizza

      Oh my god!! People having very close neighbors IN A CITY!! Absolutely preposterous.

      • rustbeltbrett

        The sell was the views of downtown. I’d be a little POed if I bought that and ended up with this a year later

        • WhatRUSmoking

          No the prime views from the Canterbury building are of Gates Circle and the parkways. I doubt that you could even see downtown from the top of the Canterbury building. It’s uphill from there to West Ferry. The proposed building blocks their view of Bry-Lin.

          • rustbeltbrett

            It still seems irresponsible and undesirable to stare at that for $$$ to me. But to each their own

        • Flyguy2pt0

          Well the residents can certainly buy out the lot and throw a conservation easement on it if they like. To expect a uninhibited view all the way to downtown from Gates Circle is outrageous. That’s essentially what the expectation would be based on that argument.

          • rustbeltbrett

            In a new area being masterplanned from the ground up, you would at least think they could avoid placing a building directly adjacent so people cant see in your windows, etc. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I’m not asking for a moratorium of building from this point to downtown just for canterbury woods

        • What? The master plan for the site not only included this building (and others), but the building was actually supposed to be seven to eight. They should do their research before buying.

          • rustbeltbrett

            Good point, it was poor design right from the getgo

          • Craig

            South of this building is another building that will be taller. Past that is the existing X-Ray building, and past that the robin’s egg blue condo tower. From there, it’s pretty steeply uphill until you get to Timon Tower, the Campanile, and the tall white building on Delaware and Barker. Units on this site were never going to have an unobstructed view of downtown. The only way to get views of downtown from this site are to build 20 stories.

          • rustbeltbrett

            okay, okay. Views TOWARD downtown. Can I stop being crucified now? I figured people really didn’t like to look into other apartments / at walls. I’ll have to remember that in the future, because apparrently I’m crazy

        • Mr. B

          “The sell was the views of downtown.”

          The selling point was the views of downtown?? From Delaware at Gates Circle?

          LOL!

          .

          • rustbeltbrett

            From the rear, sure. Definitely not getting any views of gates circle from that side

          • MrGreenJeans

            yes, lol indeed. so clever.

      • Flyguy2pt0

        Precisely why I have many doubts the Buffalo we know and love would even be possible in this day and age. Many Broadacre City advocates who want scenic wide sweeping country views within a City environment. Its belly aching, lawsuits, organized advocacy groups with their own agendas, not in my back yard or front yard eithers, put it somewhere else and it becomes someone elses problem, selfish interests disguised as some broader social/ moral mission.
        If this were 1830s Buffalo with its growth trajectory and economic conditions with todays mindsets I doubt Buffalo would look anything like it developed.

        • rustbeltbrett

          I actually agree with you, but in a area That’s being masterplanned from the grouns up, it just seems like it could be avoided at least so people aren’t looking into each others windows

    • Fly Street

      More importantly is why is this parcel being built out with the other (4) laying in wait? What is happening with the old nurses school? what happened to the YMCA? Grocery store?

      This is shady.

      • Craig

        My understanding is that the YMCA is dead. Discussions with potential tenants for the other buildings on the site plan are ongoing. It makes sense to do this building first, it’s smallest and proximity to Canterbury means you’d want to have as much construction as possible completed before tenants move in.

        If by “old nurses school” you mean the homeopathic hospital complex which is still standing on the site, that as well is ongoing but Montante is still looking for ways to make reuse of that complex work.

      • Johnny Pizza

        Phasing of a construction project is very common when you have numerous buildings and there are a lot of good reasons to do it. It can certainly work against you in certain occasions, but for the most part its a safer bet.

      • Matt Marcinkiewicz

        YMCA backed out, according to the News’ article from today (Wed)

        • Jordan Then

          I saw that too. I wonder what YMCA’s new plan will be. I know that they are unhappy with their Delaware Avenue building, which is fairly close to their Tonawanda location. I thought that moving to the Gates site was actually a good move that would have positioned them to better serve the city (or at least North Buffalo, the EV, Hamlin Park, and the near east side).

          Maybe they didn’t think they could successfully raise the funds needed?

          • Craig

            What I heard was that they had wanted outdoor space for kids and athletic programs and Gates couldn’t provide it. Not sure how accurate it is.

          • Jordan Then

            That makes sense. I wonder where they are looking now.

    • HwA

      The site plan showing buildings and buildable sites has been published for years. If Canterbury Woods developers and purchasers chose to look at their site in a vacuum – and ignore the context of what was going on around them – they do not deserve our sympathy.

      • rustbeltbrett

        It’s my understanding the design for canterbury woods came first, and the masterplan happened around it. Hence this poor condition. Seems like the masterplanners chose to ignore canterbury woods. It’s all about that rentable square footage number I guess. Forget that nobody will want to rent that square footage

        • HwA

          Actually no. The site was master planned well before Canterbury Woods was designed. The Lancaster Street extension and building massing were all planned before the design of CW started. You make legitimate points that the overall layout could have been improved, but the reaction like a surprise building went up unexpectedly next to a nearly complete CW is the reason people are jumping on your comments. It should not have been a surprise to anyone involved with CW.

          • rustbeltbrett

            Respectfully, I know for a fact this is incorrect. I know someone who was involved with the project who has confirmed this was not the case. If anything, the masterplanning was happening concurrently and thus this could have been addressed. My original comments are slightly sarcastic (;

          • HwA

            Okay I get it – my info is from someone who was part of the early Kaleida/City Hall discussions prior to any identified developers’ involvement. The takeaway here is communication and information relating to the entire site clearly was not shared among all players as well as it could have been, resulting in a less than ideal site layout.

  • nick

    I hope the community doesn’t have an issue with this one, It looks like a really nice design that will add a lot to the area.

  • lexwood

    Looks great. The fact that this wouldn’t be allowed on Elmwood is ludicrous!
    It would be wonderful if this type of development were extended to the 3 corners of Delaware and Delavan! Now that would be a great neighborhood!

  • Nick

    Love the look of this should be a great addition to the street.

  • runner68

    Dan Sack is going to be so triggered when he sees this…

    • greenca

      I hope the two Gretchens gave their approval, or it won’t happen.

      • Arrogance^2

        Don’t forget the required approval of master (non working with no buildings to her name) architect Catherine

        • runner68

          She’s great too. Always likes to tell me how much more she knows about architecture than I do on Preservation Ready’s facebook page. That woman is something else.

          • runner68

            Oh wait it says here she allegedly designed Mac’s on Hertel. Man what a great piece of architecture that is. One for the books.

          • Johnny Pizza

            Mac’s – The local restaurant that is too big to support and thus it has already changed hands at least once. Terribly out of scale for the area and despite having decent food and drinks, its a graveyard in there most of the time.

    • Mr. “S”

      PLEASE, PLEASE Dan and Gretchen stop you ridiculous nonsense!!!

  • davvvvid

    This looks very nice.

  • FreedomCM

    Isn’t this too tall for the neighborhood?

    They should build this on the East Side!

  • Vandra

    Like Like Like

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    The Square at the Circle…I’m disoriented already

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    Christian Campos? Back when these stories first ran, it was some personage like an ‘R Timothy Veith’ running the show for TM Montante. I demand an explanatory follow-up piece on the history of the organizational hierarchy at TMM

  • Mr. “S”

    Dan Sack and Gretchen Cercone have to realize we are evolving and GROWING as a new, vibrant city!!!

    • Arrogance^2

      Even Tim Tielman has abandoned former compratiot Sack. He’s told multiple people he thinks the 3 story Green Code limit in Elmwood was a horrible mistake and will destroy the economic vibrancy of the neighborhood. Also don’t forget world renowned architect of Jimmy Macs Catherine Faust. Hard to know which of the three amigos is the worst.

  • Mr. “S”

    PLEASE, PLEASE Gretchen and Dan STOP trying to prevent our new, revitalized city from growing!!! We were dying forever as an urban environment, and almost dead, stagnant and regressing for literally decades; times have certainally changed… let our city evolve and prosper!!! PLEASE STOP impeding our growth!!! It is not just about you two, your ridiculous tastes, and your opinions on what is best for the entire City based on your judgements! PLEASE STOP NOW!!!

  • Bags

    I like this a lot. Little surprised they’d Block the southern views.