Published March 27, 2013
Thanks to a donation of land from First Niagara Financial Group
Inc., the University at Buffalo will acquire the last piece of real
estate needed for its new
downtown medical school.
The .85-acre parcel, appraised at approximately $2 million, is located at 973 Main St. at High Street, where a First Niagara Bank branch now stands.
Under the terms of the donation, UB will purchase the parcel for
During a March 27 announcement of the donation, UB President
Satish K. Tripathi said, “The magnitude of First
Niagara’s generosity far surpasses the physical boundaries of
the land that is changing hands.
“With this acquisition, UB can move ahead with its plans
for the new medical school, which will help to dramatically improve
health care and medical education in our region while providing a
significant boost to the local economy.”
Bank officials “jumped at the chance to help” when
they learned of the land’s significance to the university,
said Gary Crosby, First Niagara’s interim president and chief
“We are committed to doing great things in our community,
and we are proud to collaborate with UB.
“Western New York is a globally recognized leader in life sciences, innovation and research, and we are thrilled to help make the medical school a reality, as it will positively impact our area for many generations to come.”
A design for the $375 million, 520,000 gross-square-foot
building is being
prepared by HOK, one of the world’s leading architectural
firms, in consultation with UB and community stakeholders.
Groundbreaking for the new building is set for September, and
construction is expected to be completed in 2016.
The new medical school is being funded with a variety of sources, including UB and SUNY resources, a university fundraising campaign and a $35 million challenge grant provided through the NYSUNY 2020 act signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The move to larger, world-class teaching and research facilities
will allow the medical school to pursue cutting-edge research with
cross-disciplinary synergies that are critical to today’s
medical advances, said Michael
E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and medical school dean.
The expanded medical school will add several new clinical service areas, providing specialty care and health services not currently offered in the region.
“This will significantly improve health care for all
Western New Yorkers and will make Buffalo a health care
destination, attracting patients from outside our region who seek
the very best in specialized medical care,” Cain said.
In addition, Cain said, the move will attract the most promising
medical students and world-class faculty to the region.
“The prospect of a brand new, 21st-century medical school
next to teaching hospitals and state-of-the-art research
laboratories in downtown Buffalo is helping UB to recruit top
physicians and scientists, some of whom are already here,” he
“The new medical school will allow us to boost the class
size of first-year medical students to 180 from 140, so we can
graduate more physicians, many of whom will stay and practice in
Western New York.”
For medical students, relocating the school to the downtown campus—adjacent to John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the UB Clinical and Translational Research Center and other research labs—will offer a full-immersion medical education experience.
The project also will significantly benefit the downtown and
Moving the UB medical school to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will bring thousands more people downtown every day, creating economic growth from spin-off biotech companies and new opportunities for businesses and community members in surrounding neighborhoods.
The number of employees on the campus is expected to grow from 7,000 in 2002 and approximately 12,000 in 2012 to 17,000 by 2017.
Recent studies found that one out of every 11 jobs in New York State is supported by medical schools and their teaching hospitals, compared to one in 46 nationally.
First Niagara will turn over the land to UB Oct. 1 and plans to open a new branch on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. In the meantime, a temporary branch will be located at 1031 Main St.