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Sheehan could get new life as medical facility

The former Sheehan Memorial Hospital got a new lease on life Thursday, and that new life will include remaining a medical-related facility.

McGuire Development Co. purchased the site at a U.S. Bankrupcty Court auction for $2 million. It was the only bidder for the former hospital at 425 Michigan Ave.

McGuire Development executives said they hope to keep the property as a medical-related facility by adding a medical practice and an organ donor company as anchor tenants while expanding the McGuire Group’s certified nursing program by adding a Sheehan location.

McGuire Development is the commercial real estate arm of the McGuire Group.

Plans for reusing the property start immediately and can take up to three to six months, said Danielle Shainbrown, vice president and attorney of McGuire Development. How much of the building the proposed new uses take up will be determined during negotiations.

Madison Hawk, a national real estate firm, conducted the auction as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings for the former downtown Buffalo medical building. When it officially closed over the summer, Sheehan listed $6.3 million in assets, and liabilities totalling nearly $5.5 million. The former hospital’s biggest asset is its real estate, which includes the shuttered, five-story building and the 8-acre site upon which it sits. Sheehan previously operated as a 40-bed primary care facility with a substance abuse program, adult day care services and a dental clinic.

One of the planned anchor tenants is the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Health Network, which is part of the Urban Family Practice Group, said James F. Dentinger, president of McGuire Development. Currently located on Niagara Street on Buffalo’s Lower West Side, the medical practice is looking to expand as part of the network that would like to maintain the hospital building as a state-licensed health center that concentrates on primary and specialty care and perhaps develop ambulatory surgery. The concept is to provide total integrated health care.

Another potential anchor tenant is UNYTS. Dentinger said. The nonprofit organ, eye, tissue and community blood center wants to consolidate its operations into one location downtown. UNYTS owns space at 110 Broadway in Buffalo and leases space at 90 Curtwright Drive in Amherst. The business wants a single location with ample parking.

The building site also could become a training facility for McGuire Group’s certified nursing program. The group trains about 300 certified nursing assistants and nurses every year at its Delaware Avenue and Allen Street location and wants to expand, Dentinger said. The group recruits heavily from Buffalo’s East Side, and the former Sheehan site would be a more convenient location for students.

Dentinger said the company plans to invest an additional $5 million to $7 million for capital improvements and to build structures for intended uses. In addition, the property’s proximity to other development projects provides additional opportunities.

“We have a chance to link into the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” Dentinger said. “We’re near the Larkin Center and could develop that part of the East Side of Buffalo.”