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Main hospital tower at Gates Circle to be imploded on Oct. 3

The 11-story main tower of the former Millard Fillmore Hospital at Gates Circle will come down in a planned implosion in the early morning on Oct. 3, TM Montante Development announced late Thursday.

Ontario Specialty Contracting will carry out the 7 a.m. implosion, which should level the structure in a controlled collapse in a matter of seconds.

That will pave the way for construction crews to finish clearing the entire 10-acre former hospital site in preparation for a planned $150 million redevelopment project. Workers have already been taking down two other major buildings piece-by-piece.

TM Montante, which acquired the site from Kaleida Health in late 2013 after the hospital closed in 2012, plans a mixed-use community with more than 500 residential apartments, condominiums and townhouses, in addition to a grocery store, fitness center believed to be the YMCA, office space and ground-floor retail shops.

Additionally, Canterbury Woods plans to construct a separate 53-unit independent-living facility to anchor the project on Gates Circle. Canterbury Woods also operates a continuing-care community in Amherst.

Specific plans have yet to be submitted to the City of Buffalo for any of the buildings, but the Canterbury project is expected to come up for review this fall.

“We’re going to open up the site and bring together residents from adjacent neighborhoods, all while creating attractive new public spaces,” TM Montante Development President Christian Campos said.  “This is a critical and exciting milestone in the site’s physical transformation into a vibrant mixed-use urban district.”

Ontario Specialty, the Buffalo-based demolition company, does building implosions and demolitions throughout Western New York. The company’s last building implosion was in 2007, the 100,000-square-foot medical office building at 50 High St., which cleared the way for the recent construction of Conventus – a $110 million project by Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.

Montante representatives are currently going door-to-door in the neighborhood, notifying residents about the implosion and answering questions. An informational session is planned next week for neighborhood residents, as well as a news conference.

“We want to thank the mayor, the City of Buffalo and in particular the surrounding neighborhood for their assistance and cooperation as we work towards making this site shovel-ready,” said TM Montante founder and CEO Thomas Montante. “We will continue to meet with the community throughout all phases of our development of the Gates Circle site and look forward to continued input from all of the stakeholders involved in this transformative economic development project for Buffalo.”