ADVERTISEMENT

Kaleida Health has officially turned over the former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital to TM Montante Development, which plans a $63 million mixed-use development of senior housing, retail, apartments, condominiums and a community health and wellness center.

The closing of the transaction, which required TM Montante to pay Kaleida $1 for the property, was recorded Tuesday in the Erie County Clerk’s Office.

“This is a huge accomplishment and, really, the end of an era. The hospital served the community so well for so many years. The next evolution of that site will be just as important to the Gates Circle community. We can now focus on the reuse of Women & Children’s Hospital in 2014,” Kaleida spokesman Michael P. Hughes wrote in an email. Kaleida is building a new Children’s Hospital on the downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and must find a use for the hospital’s current Elmwood Village location.

The centerpiece of the project on the 10-acre Gates Circle site is a $28 million satellite campus of Canterbury Woods, offering 55 units of independent living and assisted-living apartments for seniors.

The 10-story main building on Gates Circle and a surgical center behind the main building will be demolished, Lancaster Avenue will be extended through the site to Linwood Avenue, and TM Montante plans a $35 million mixed-use development on the campus that would be phased in over several years.

“Our vision for creating a vibrant, residential-focus community asset at Gates Circle is moving forward,” said Timothy Vaeth, president of TM Montante, in a statement. “We look forward to setting an exciting new path for those who will make this property their home and for our neighbors in the surrounding community.”

When finished, it would be Buffalo’s biggest housing development in decades, with as many as 500 market-rate residential apartments, mid-market condominiums and for-sale townhomes.

Site preparation and environmental remediation is expected to begin in the spring, with construction expected to start in the fall and largely be finished by the end of 2016.

The massive former Gates Circle hospital closed in 2012.

Local developer Chason Affinity was initially chosen by Kaleida’s board of directors to develop the site in August 2012 for use as a veterinary school of medicine. When the deal died in 2013, Kaleida issued a second request for proposals.

TM Montante was one of three local development companies that filed plans the second time, and Kaleida promised a $1 million bounty to the winning selection.

The developer must meet certain milestones to receive the bounty. Hughes said he expects the $1 million to be paid out sometime this year.

email: swatson@buffnews.com