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Hamburg IDA aids medical center

Omni Pain and Wellness Center, a $5 million medical center that plans a broad approach to treating pain, is scheduled to open in the Town of Hamburg by the end of the year, backed by $1 million in property tax breaks.

McGuire Development, which is developing the project at 4883 Camp Road, said the center will cover about four acres, with an additional three-acre site for a build-to-suit tenant. It will be north of Southwestern Boulevard.

The Hamburg Industrial Development Agency this week approved $1 million in property tax savings over 15 years. The project will pay about $701,000 through a payment in lieu of taxes plan, said Michael Bartlett, executive director of the Hamburg IDA.

Bartlett said the project will provide Southtowns residents, including many seniors, with services much closer to home, rather than requiring trips to different offices in Buffalo and the Northtowns.

The issue of IDAs providing incentives for new medical offices has caused some flare-ups in recent years, most notably when County Executive Joel Giambra criticized the Amherst IDA for providing incentives to an orthopedic group a few years ago.

In the case of the Hamburg project, Bartlett said that project backers told the IDA that no similar center is easily accessible to Western New Yorkers. "I think it is justified because of the uniqueness of it," Bartlett said.

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, who is sponsoring an IDA reform bill, said he favors stricter guidelines when it comes to IDAs awarding incentives, and he doesn't think a project's "uniqueness" passes the test.

"I think the criteria that should be used when considering IDA financing for a project is, if they do not receive IDA financing, will they move this project out of the region?" he said.

An exception, he said, might be a start-up company that has the potential to generate a huge return on investment through significant job creation.

Dr. Loubert Suddaby, a neurologist, and Lakeshore Family Medicine Associates of Hamburg will be located in the center. Suddaby, Dr. Kristin Robillard and McGuire will jointly own the center through a limited liability company.

Suddaby has a neurological practice in Orchard Park and will run Omni Pain and Wellness as a second location. Lakeshore will relocate from nearby.

Other medical specialists will also be located in the center, said James Dentinger, president of McGuire Development.

Suddaby said the center will take a wide-ranging approach to treating pain, by bringing together specialists and primary care physicians in one place to examine all of the factors that might be contributing to a patient's problems, such as depression or sleep problems.

"We want to make sure we're not just dealing with the pain in isolation," he said.

Using that approach, he said, experts might decide that,for a particular patient, a nutrition or exercise program might be a better approach than drugs or surgery.

The Hamburg project is offering space for lease for imaging, laboratory, therapies and other services, Dentinger said.

Omni Pain and Wellness will be the fourth medical office project McGuire has developed in the past year, Dentinger said.

e-mail: mglynn@buffnews.com

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