Sinatra, Ellicott to Take Over WCHOB Redevelopment

Ciminelli says it learned of change in media

Tom Puckett
July 13, 2017 - 6:50 pm
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Kaleida Health has changed its mind over who will redevelop the Women and Children's Hospital site. Ciminelli is out, and Sinatra and Company and Ellicott Development are in.

Nick Sinatra commented "Billy Paladino and I have worked together most recently on the Delavan schoolhouse project, and understand the strengths each of our organizations can contribute." Sinatra & Company Real Estate and Ellicott Development have successfully partnered on $40 million in development and investment in New York State.  

The coordinated approach will immediately seek a productive dialogue with existing stakeholders, including residents, neighboring business, elected and city officials, along with Kaleida Health in order to swiftly move the planning process forward. Paladino commented, "Nick and I appreciate the opportunity Kalieda has provided us with and we look forward to working with Kaleida, the neighborhood committee along with our City and State leaders.  We are not beholden to either of our submittals as originally proposed and look forward to having an open dialogue with all participants in the discussions to date, and learning more about what those discussions have been and how we can integrate our thoughts and plans into those discussions."   

The two firms say the project fundamentals rest upon:

  • A phased approach to the site's redevelopment
  • An integrated reuse that is primarily residential in nature, including market-rate rental and owned residences of varying types, including apartments, townhomes and condominiums
  • Design standards that are reflective of the existing neighborhood fabric, along with an attention to the City of Buffalo's Green Code
  • Commitment to appropriate retention of viable structures
  • Interconnectivity amongst the site and the existing neighborhood    

Statement from Ciminelli Real Estate spokesperson, Anne E. Duggan:

“We were extremely disappointed to read today in the Buffalo News, without having previously received any official notice, that Kaleida has decided to pursue other options for the redevelopment of the Women and Children's Hospital site. Negotiations on the contract had been ongoing, during which time we had been working diligently together- and we thought in good faith - to resolve numerous complex issues that are customary in a project of this size and scope. Contrary to what has been published, Ciminelli did execute the contract as prepared by Kaleida's attorneys.  Relying on Kaleida's good faith, we made a significant investment in this project, including active engagement with architects, engineers and other consultants, in preparation for closing and quick commencement of our redevelopment of the project.  Notwithstanding what Kaleida told the Buffalo News, our project has not changed dramatically since we first proposed it.  There were iterations involving the improvement of traffic flow, adding residential units, and creating neighborhood friendly retail, and those were all made based on excellent feedback received from Kaleida's Project Advisory Committee. We signed the contract as proposed and drafted by Kaleida's attorneys, a contract  that reflects a project in accordance with our response to the request for proposals. Kaleida, however, refused to sign its own contract and, instead, elected to negotiate with other developers without our knowledge. Given our company's longstanding relationship with the Kaleida system, we are disappointed with, and surprised by, this decision to terminate our development agreement.”

From the archives, here's the original submissions from Ellicott & Sinatra, unveiled at a public meeting in January 2016

ELLICOTT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY

Ellicott Development Company presents “Elmwood Center”, the redevelopment of Kaleida’s Women and Children’s Hospital campus. Located in the heart of the thriving Elmwood Avenue district, our project is the ideal retrofit of 650,000 square feet of existing infrastructure that will offer those complimentary services necessary to a growing, dense and vibrant residential, commercial and retail community. The icing on the cake is our ability to incorporate it all in a non-intrusive and expeditious manner. Unlike other more grandiose plans, our plan is absent of any large scale demolition. We will maintain all of the existing buildings on campus and repurpose them with uses that will blend in and add to the neighborhood.

The Elmwood strip neighborhood community, with its blend of high- and middle-income residents, is defined by the fabric of its shopping district composed primarily of small and local retail, restaurant and office businesses. The Elmwood Center will pair perfectly with that ambiance. Elmwood Center does not seek to change the character of the neighborhood but rather to add to its solid infrastructure and unique nature.

Elmwood Center will increase the housing stock in the area with new middle market and high-end apartments, provide a new service for existing residents and bring new people into the area with a boutique hotel and restaurant/banquet facility, provide apartments for seniors so they can downsize and stay in the area they have grown to love, and add needed amenities such as a day care, elementary charter school, grocery store, new small boutique retail along Elmwood and Utica, community meeting space, and a performing arts center.

SINATRA AND COMPANY

Sinatra & Company Real Estate has submitted a formal proposal to Kaleida for the redevelopment of the Kaleida-owned Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo site and surrounding parcels.

The proposed site reuse is a multifaceted project, devoted primarily to newly constructed, market-rate housing. The proposed site use over the approximately 7-acre site will be 65 percent residential, including an estimated 50 townhomes, 300 market­rate apartments and 50 upscale condominiums over three phases.

Nonresidential uses include an adaptive reuse of existing structures for educational or organizational use and loft and medical office space. Also proposed is a 30,000-square-foot Dash’s Market grocery store.

Over a year and a half prior to Kaleida’s release of its Request for Proposals, Sinatra & Company Real Estate began to evaluate the site. “As one of the largest owners of real estate in the Elmwood Village, we have a vested interest in retaining the existing character and balance of the neighborhood; therefore, it’s a site we are interested in ensuring becomes a reflection of the existing fabric,” said Sinatra & Company Real Estate President, Nick Sinatra.

Sinatra & Company Real Estate currently owns and manages 55 properties with 685 residential units in the Elmwood Village, valued at over $60 million.

The $161 million proposal is a privately­funded plan, capitalized through existing capital partners, the Prtizer/Vlock Family Office, and local and national lenders. The proposal includes a partnership group under Sinatra & Company Real Estate’s leadership, with Essex Homes of Western New York, under the Nanula family’s direction, JTVaeth Construction, and Ontario Specialty Contracting. Architectural and engineering firms making substantial contributions to the project are Carmina Wood Morris and Wendel.

Diversity in partners and design firms are seen as an effective strategy for a timely project completion that is heterogeneous in nature.

Sinatra & Company Real Estate (SinatraAndCompany.com) is a real estate development, investment and management firm headquartered in Buffalo, New York. Founded in 2009 by Nick Sinatra, the company has rapidly expanded into one of the largest owners of apartment and commercial properties in the

Western New York region. In addition to serving Buffalo and its surrounding areas with premier multifamily and commercial real estate options, the company is active in real estate projects in southern California, as well as Chicago, Illinois. The firm currently owns and manages over $175 million in real estate assets.

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