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Preservation Board to consider Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital demolition

The Buffalo Preservation Board on Thursday will take its first chance to review the proposed demolition of the main hospital tower of the former Millard Fillmore Hospital at Gates Circle – likely by implosion – as TM Montante Development seeks approval for a key step in redeveloping the entire site.

Montante officials are hoping to bring down the 10-story tower by the end of the summer or early fall, though no date has been set. A final decision on the method has not been made, but “implosion is likely and is what we’re talking about in the community,” said spokesman Byron DeLuke.

Montante, which acquired the 6-acre site from Kaleida Health, is leading an ambitious redevelopment project that will convert the longtime medical facility into an eight-building mixed-use community with up to 475 residential units, a YMCA or other fitness facility, an urban grocery store, and additional retail and office space. In all, the project would take five to seven years to complete.

Plans for the $150 million project call for 630,000 square feet of apartments, condos or town homes, 135,000 square feet of retail space, and at least 150,000 square feet of office space, for a total of 930,000 square feet.

As a separate component, Episcopal Church Home & Affiliates is spending an additional $28 million to construct a 53-unit senior-living community similar to its successful Canterbury Woods complex in Amherst. The six-story building would anchor the property at Gates Circle itself.

Work is currently focusing on demolition and site-clearing, while final site plans have not yet been presented to city officials. The developer has already obtained approvals for prior demolitions of the boiler house and medical services building on the campus.

Also up for review Thursday is Krog Corp.’s plans to convert the former Trico Products Corp. windshield-wiper manufacturing plant in downtown Buffalo into an extended-stay hotel for Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus visitors, plus loft-style residential apartments, retail space and commercial space. The building is currently owned by the Buffalo Brownfield Restoration Corp., an affiliate of the Buffalo Urban Development Corp., but is under contract to be sold to Krog.

The $50 million redevelopment of the 600,000-square-foot building at 817 Washington St. had come to the Preservation Board earlier this month but was tabled for additional information. BUDC President Peter Cammarata said it’s expected to be passed unanimously by the board.

If approved, both projects will then move to the city Planning Board for environmental and site plan review.