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Diplomacy helped end decades-long nightmare

Much has been made recently about the pending sale of the former Episcopal Church Home property on Buffalo’s West Side. While some have chosen to use this transaction to advance a political agenda, I would like to fill in some key gaps.

Perhaps no other property stands as more of a testament to Peace Bridge inaction than our former downtown campus. As talks dragged on, and zero action was taken, our business, which at one time employed 500 people and cared for thousands of elderly Buffalonians, was decimated by an uncertain future caused by Peace Bridge talks that went nowhere. The loss of our business and the decline of the property itself, coupled with ever increasing liens, presented us, our employees and our vendors with a financial burden that we had to carry for 18 years with very little hope in sight. That is until New York State entered the picture last year. In just a matter of months, the Cuomo administration was able to achieve more progress on this issue than others could in nearly two decades.

The negotiated sale represents the result of fair and thoughtful discussion. Our views and methods related to the valuation of the property differed greatly. Rather than engage in a protracted, costly process that likely would have been fraught with legal proceedings, both sides followed a path of diplomacy and discussion that took into consideration many of the parties who have been affected over the past 18 years. In the end, this process saved time and money.

The transaction is the end of a decades-long nightmare and an example of what can be accomplished when politics takes a necessary back seat.

Rob Wallace

President & CEO

Episcopal Church Home & Affiliates