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Conventus Building on the verge of being sold

The Conventus Building, the $100 million medical office complex that is a centerpiece of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, is being sold to a Hong Kong-based real estate and construction company.

Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. and its partner, healthcare investment management firm Seavest Healthcare Properties, have agreed to sell the 350,000-square-foot medical office building near downtown Buffalo to an affiliate of Chevalier International, officials from Ciminelli and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency said Wednesday.

Both Ciminelli and Seavest will continue to be involved with the building after the sale. In particular, Ciminelli will continue to manage Conventus, handling leasing and daily operations for the building, where about 420 people work at tenants that include Kaleida Health and the UBMD Physicians Group, a Chevalier representative said.

That means tenants will still deal directly with Ciminelli's staff onsite.

IDA officials said the sale is not complete, but Ciminelli spokeswoman Anne Duggan confirmed that the building is under contract. So both the development agency and the Buffalo Common Council this week voted to transfer an agreement that provides funding for infrastructure improvements along the Main Street corridor near the Medical Campus from Conventus Partners to the new ownership group, Seavest Core Buffalo Conventus. Seavest will retain a 5 percent ownership interest in the building, with Chevalier holding a 95 percent stake.

"This capital structure ensures long-term consistent ownership and management," said Ciminelli owner and CEO Paul Ciminelli,  "and demonstrates that Buffalo continues to attract investment not only locally and statewide, but nationally and internationally as well."

The seven-story building located at 1001 Main St., on the edge of the Medical Campus is a Class A office building that was designed by Kideney Architects to encourage collaboration among Medical Campus entities. The building, which includes two floors of below-grade parking with 332 spaces, includes two floors apiece for UBMD and Kaleida Health, along with a state-owned floor used by drug development company Athenex Inc.

The building is directly connected to both the new Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and the University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Chevalier, which was founded in 1970 and is publicly traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, has about 10,000 employees at subsidiaries and associated companies whose operations include construction and engineering, insurance and investment, property development and hotels, along with car dealerships.

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