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Eye surgeon buys $1.5 million riverfront estate on Grand Island

A partner with Fichte, Endl and Elmer Eyecare is the new owner of a $1.5 million riverfront estate on Grand Island that boasts its own natural sand beach, indoor movie theater and spacious wine cellar. It is nearly double the previous high price for a single-family home sold on the island in the past dozen years.

The home on East River Road was custom built in 2002. The previous owners tore down the original home on the property and constructed this four-bedroom, three-bathroom residence with a four-car garage and sweeping views of the Niagara River across to Niagara Falls.

Dr. Thomas R. Elmer Jr., an experienced eye doctor and surgeon, bought the property with his wife, Kristina, a chiropractor, for $1.525 million from Debra Buscaglia in a sale that closed Wednesday, according to a document filed with the Erie County Clerk's Office.

The previous high sale price for a home on Grand Island was $775,000 in April 2005, according to multiple listing service records that go back to 2003.

"It's absolutely spectacular. Truly one of a kind," said Melissa Colletti, a licensed real estate salesperson with Hunt Real Estate Corp.

Colletti, who was the only agent involved in the transaction, listed the home in June for $1.89 million. She said she had five showings that generated three offers, including one the first week that wasn't completed.

The Elmers' offer was accepted and the home went under contract within 35 days of the listing, Colletti said, but the closing was delayed so the seller could find another home.

A prominent area eye surgeon and his chiropractor wife purchased this luxurious estate on East River Road on Grand Island for $1.5 million this week. The four-bedroom, three-b… 

The East River Road home sits near Buckhorn Island State Park on the north end of the island.

It is 4,800 square feet, smaller than many mansions in the area that have sold for high prices in recent months. But Colletti said the rich detailing within the home and the property set it apart.

The backyard features an infinity pool, pool house and full outdoor kitchen, 100 feet of natural sand beach and a private dock with boat and dual personal-watercraft lifts.

The home has vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, a billiards room and a wine cellar with a custom hardwood door.

"It fits about 1,000 wine bottles," Colletti said.

Movie posters line the walls of the room that leads into the theater, named the "Riveredge Theater," and arcade games, a popcorn machine and a snack stand that wouldn't look out of place at an AMC Theatre are set up nearby. The pinpoint lights built into the ceiling of the movie theater replicate the constellations in the northern sky, Colletti said.

Buscaglia built the home with her former husband, Daniel A., but has owned it on her own since 2013, according to county real property records.

She put the property up for sale now because, Colletti said, "She wanted to take advantage of the market."

The Elmers already live on Grand Island, Colletti said, and they enjoy boating and swimming. Tom Elmer is known for his trips around the world with volunteer medical organizations to provide free eye surgeries and other services to patients in need.

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