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Building Buffalo: Uniland’s medical building in Buffalo taking shape

Building Buffalo is a regular feature highlighting progress on development projects throughout the region.

Project name: 520 Ellicott

Address: 520 Ellicott St., Buffalo

Developer: Uniland Development Co.

Cost: $5 million

Government assistance: None

Description: Construction of 24,000-square-foot, three-story medical office building, anchored by a DaVita kidney dialysis center, on former Frey the Wheelman property.

Completion date: October 2016

Lowdown: Uniland Development Company is hoping to complete its new downtown medical office building by October, bringing a new kidney dialysis facility just blocks from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The Amherst-based developer is constructing a 24,000-square-foot, three-story building at 520 Ellicott St., on the site of the former Frey the Wheelman operation that moved to Cheektowaga after that company sold its 1.45-acre site to Uniland for $1.3 million. Work began in February, crews have erected and topped off the steel frame on the project, and contractors are now completing the “core-and-shell” structure, which is expected to be finished by Oct. 1. The first-floor dialysis tenant will then fit out its own space, while Uniland shows the rest to prospective tenants.

Located at the corner of Ellicott and Tupper streets, the steel-frame building is designed with a glass-and-tan-brick facade similar to what Uniland built for Catholic Health System’s new administrative headquarters and training facility one block to the east. Plans approved by the city Planning Board also included architectural concrete stone, dark brown aluminum bands, decorative stone elements around the Tupper Street entrance and other accents. It will also include a private 52-space surface parking lot and a covered drop-off area at the main entrance.

Buffalo Dialysis, a subsidiary of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., is leasing the entire 6,800-square-foot first floor, with 13 stations to provide chronic renal dialysis six days a week. DaVita, a publicly traded company, operates or administers 2,179 outpatient dialysis centers serving about 170,000 patients nationwide, plus 91 facilities in 10 other countries.

Uniland is negotiating with other potential tenants for the upper two floors.

Separately, Uniland also plans to revamp Frey’s former one-story warehouse across the street at 505 Ellicott into a two-story, 40,000-square-foot building, occupying the same ground footprint but with an extra floor. The developer will repave the parking lot and put in decorative fencing and landscaping, while using decorative glass and precast trim on the building.