One of Buffalo's major community health center's on Monday announced a $1.95 million loan from M&T Bank that will allow it to expand into the city's Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, renovating a long-vacant building and creating as many as 500 new jobs.
Jericho Road Community Health Center will move into 1021 Broadway in phases, starting July 9 with the opening of medical services and followed next summer with a pharmacy. A group of nonprofit organizations also plans to share the 110,618-square-foot space, moving in in phases, perhaps starting later this year.
This will be the third location for Jericho Road, which also operates medical offices on Barton and Genesee streets, serving many low-income residents and refugees, and offering a host of related community programs.
"In 1996, I went to M&T Bank and had to convince them to invest $100,000 in a young doctor," said Dr. Myron Glick, the founder and chief executive officer. "Thankfully, they took a chance on the West Side of Buffalo."
Glick said he believes Jericho Road made a positive difference in the city's West Side, and the organization wants to be part of a project that he believes can also help the city's East Side.
"This investment will go along way toward making that happen," he said.
Glick founded Jericho Road in 1997, and it became officially recognized as a federally qualified health center in 2013, a designation that allows it to receive special government support in return for meeting certain requirements. It is one of three organizations that operate federally qualified health centers in the Buffalo area.
M&T Bank also provided a $100,000 donation to help convert two floors of the building into a medical suite and pharmacy that will offer primary care for adults and children, obstetrics and gynecology for women, behavioral health services, and spiritual health programs. WNY Imaging will provide on-site radiology services.
Shelley Drake, M&T's regional president, said the project deserved the bank's attention because of its work to provide medical care to the city's immigrant population and the potential to bring jobs to a part of the city that needs revitalization.
"It's another step toward a strong, healthy, vibrant Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood," she said.
Jericho Road has been working to convert the five-story building, which is located about one block from the Broadway Market, into a hub that will also house an assortment of other nonprofit agencies. Additional organizations are expected to open in the building over the next two years, sharing space, staff and services, as the agencies secure financing, said Kenneth Houseknecht, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Erie County.
He said that by sharing the space in the building all the tenants can do more collectively than on their own, such as providing employees with fitness and day care facilities.
Originally built in 1910 as the base for the Jahraus-Braun department store, the site has been vacant for nearly a decade. It was used by Sattler’s beginning in 1954 to sell furniture and appliances until Sattler’s shifted to another location. Much of the building was then demolished in the early 1990s. The portions that were saved were renovated into the existing structure from 2007 to the present.
The Mosaic 569 Foundation, a charitable foundation founded by Jericho Road board member Mark Herskind of Baillie Lumber, purchased eight interconnected properties, including buildings on Lombard and Clark streets, for $482,000 on behalf of Jericho Road as part of the renovation of the former department store and furniture store complex.
The project with the nonprofits in place has a total cost of about $10 million. It has received additional financial help, including a $200,000 grant from the New York State Health Foundation and a $300,000 matching grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation.