By 2009, when Kaleida Health was assembling land for a new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and nearby office building, the price of Medical Campus property began to skyrocket.
Kaleida paid $2 million for a building on a third of an acre off Main Street. The land and building, but not the business, were assessed at $750,000. (Kaleida says it got $500,000 in equipment with the building.) The building was eventually knocked down and the equipment transferred to one of Kaleida’s own facilities.
Kaleida then paid $510,000 for an adjacent piece of land – less than a third of an acre – assessed at $125,000.
“I thought they got a fair price under the circumstances,” said Paul Buch, whose wife’s family for decades owned the parcel sold to Kaleida for $510,000. “I know what it was assessed for, and I know it was obviously worth substantially less back in the ’80s and ’90s. But under the circumstances, where Kaleida had all the other surrounding properties when it was sold, it was a fair price.”
Three years later, the University at Buffalo Foundation paid $1.2 million for a property similar in size to what Kaleida bought for $510,000 in 2010.
Said Joseph Kessler, Kaleida’s chief financial officer at the time: “It’s all about timing.”
– Susan Schulman