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Medical Campus pays $3.8 million for site of new Innovation Center

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has paid $3.75 million for a complex of buildings at Ellicott and Best streets that will serve as the site of its new Innovation Center, according to county records.

The organization signed a contract earlier this year to buy several parcels on the northern edge of the Medical Campus from Osmose Holdings, and campus officials said over the summer that companies planned to begin moving into the space in early 2017. The sale closed on Nov. 14, according to documents filed with the Erie County Clerk's Office.

The Medical Campus has searched for several years for a suitable site for a second Innovation Center, as the original location at 640 Ellicott St. has reached its full capacity of startup companies and entrepreneurs.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus opened its Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center in 2010 in a portion of the abandoned Trico Products Corp. windshield wiper plant that the organization purchased at bankruptcy auction. The Medical Campus spent $15.6 million renovating the 128,000-square-foot space.

It opened with two companies, had 23 by November 2010 and had 65 companies by July, not counting entrepreneurs and startups that use its dig co-working space.

The new site is bounded by Best, Ellicott, Dodge and Main streets.

Matthew K. Enstice, president and CEO of the Medical Campus, previously said the Osmose Holdings property makes sense because it requires little renovation work, it has a mix of office and laboratory space, it has room for about 200 parking spaces and it is near the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Summer-Best Station.

It’s a 150,000-square-foot complex of three or four connected buildings at the northern boundary of the Medical Campus, past the Pilgrim Village housing development.

Osmose is a wood preservation technology company that was headquartered on Ellicott Street and was once one of the premier private companies in Buffalo.

Oaktree Capital Management acquired Osmose in 2012, and the company now is owned by Kohlberg & Company.

Osmose moved its last employees from the Ellicott Street site in January, but it still has operations at a facility on George Urban Boulevard in Depew. A company spokeswoman based in Georgia said the employees primarily work in Osmose's data delivery group but she declined to say how many remain in the Buffalo area.

Because the Ellicott Street site remained in use until earlier this year, Medical Campus officials said the lab and the offices are in excellent condition and the work that needs to be done to the buildings is largely cosmetic.

Initial plans called for about 15 companies moving into the former Osmose space, Enstice said in the earlier interview.

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