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Buffalo medical campus garage coming down early next year

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus officials hope to start demolition on the Ellicott-Goodrich Garage by the end of February or early March so they can begin construction on a newer and much larger ramp to replace it.

The nonprofit umbrella organization that includes nine member institutions wants to tear down the 900-space ramp at 854 Ellicott St., which officials say is now insufficient for the needs of the growing medical campus, and doesn’t fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act because it has no elevator. The demolition, which requires approval of the city Planning Board at its Dec. 14 meeting, will take about two to three months, said project manager Mark McGovern.

“The garage is not really a sight to see on the campus, and because of its age, it doesn’t serve the population particularly well,” said attorney Marc Romanowski, of Hopkins Sorgi & Romanowski, who represents the medical campus.

Plans call for erecting a new eight-story ramp with 1,825 parking spaces, doubling the capacity of the site as employment in the area grows by several thousand workers over the next few years because of the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Conventus, and Gates Vascular Institute.

Officials have issued a request-for-proposals for a design-build contract on the new facility, whose price tag is estimated at $30 million to $40 million. Bids are due back Dec. 9, and McGovern said BNMC hopes to have a signed contract by yearend. Formal designs for the new building will be presented to the Planning Board later.

In the interim, during the 18 months of demolition and construction, the medical campus will handle displaced garage patrons – employees, patients and guests – using the 2,043-space parking ramp at Michigan Avenue and High Street, which is about 60 percent occupied, McGovern said. He said the campus would use “shuttling and creative enhancements among buildings for those who normally park on Ellicott.”