Once Busy, Old Women & Children's Hospital Site Lays Dormant

What is the future for Elmwood Crossings project?

Mike Baggerman
August 08, 2018 - 3:00 am

A vacant Women & Children's Hospital on Bryant Street. August 7, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Once a bustling part of town with new life arriving every day, literally, Bryant Street in the City of Buffalo remains quiet following the Women and Children Hospital’s November move to Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Sinatra Real Estate and Ellicott Development are the developers of the site. Initial estimates called for $90-$110 million investment with a three-to-four year development timeline.

In January, residents voiced their concerns and offered suggestions for the planned mixed-use development on the eight-acre lot. Then in April, developers received approval by the city’s planning board for a scaled-down, five-story development which will feature mixed-use life. Four to six storefronts will face Elmwood Avenue and there will be an entrance in the rear part of the building for residential tenants with dedicated parking space.

A vacant Women & Children's Hospital on Bryant Street. August 7, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

In May, Elmwood Crossing, LLC anticipated the project site to include up to 168,790 square feet of commercial uses including retail, office, health/wellness, and daycare. It will also include a hotel with up to 94 guest rooms and up to 322 residential apartments, townhomes, and condos.

Developer Nick Sinatra told WBEN on Wednesday morning that construction on the Elmwood/Bryant project is expected to begin in October and will take 14 months to complete. Additional work will begin after its approval in January. Listen to our full interview with Sinatra below

A man who lives on Bryant Street, who did not want to provide his name, said that the absence of the children’s hospital has led to an increase in parking spaces, but noted that there’s been a decrease in the vibrancy of the neighborhood.

“With many of the restaurants on Elmwood, they were dependent on (the hospital),” he said. “It was an economic engine.”

He said that developers are keeping up the site. The grass on the site has clearly been cut, though one spot that is a noticeable eyesore is the front entrance which is blocked by large, concrete rectangles.

The neighbor’s was annoyed that the project was pitched as an overall site but it has since been segmented into different parts.

“It’s going to take a long time to review which is going to have to keep everybody in this neighborhood interested in what’s going on,” he said. “Not really how it was pitched the first time.”

He said that developers aren’t listening to what the neighborhood wants. The neighbor suggested the empty space be utilized as a green space with features like a pocket park with picnic tables and walking areas.

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