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Healthcare firm buys Belmont Shelter headquarters on Main

A fast-growing West Side-based healthcare organization and insurance provider has acquired the former Main Street headquarters of Belmont Housing Resources of Western New York, paying $2.5 million for a building just north of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

G-Health Enterprises, the parent of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) and related entities, closed Thursday on its purchase of the 24,531-square-foot building at 1195 Main St. That's located two blocks above Buffalo General Medical Center and the Gates Vascular Institute.

The purchase also included an adjacent parcel at 36 Dodge St., around the corner, said David Schiller of Pyramid Brokerage Co., who handled the transaction for Belmont.

Meanwhile, Belmont is planning to move to 2421 Main St., the 72,000-square-foot former headquarters of LPCiminelli, which the nonprofit is buying from the largely-defunct former general contractor for $5.45 million. The sale is expected to close on Sept. 30.

Starting in late January, Belmont will occupy 34,000 square feet in the building, formerly a car dealership and manufacturing facility that later became the headquarters for Greater Buffalo Savings Bank before that was acquired by First Niagara Financial Group. Two other tenants - labor union Local 1199 SEIU and a KeyBank branch - will remain.

G-Health, led by Dr. Raul Vazquez, plans to use the new site to handle overflow work from its primary headquarters on Niagara Street, as well as the growth of two of its primary business operations.

Those include its Medicaid health home – GBUAHN coordinates care for patients from others – as well as its new Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization, or GBUACO, which provides care to Medicare patients. Both are seeing increased demand and patient volume, in part from new business relationships, and both will require investments in technology and staffing.

G-Health recently obtained new contracts with YourCare Health Plan and Centene Corp. subsidiary Fidelis Care, adding about 10,000 clients and 12,000 clients, respectively, in Western New York. "A good portion of those people are going to require care coordination," Vazquez said.

The accountable-care organization also is trying to develop an artificial-intelligence machine-learning model. So the company will need to hire more computer coders, actuarial professionals, medical practice facilitators, pharmacists and others to meet patient needs.

It's currently bursting at the seams in its three-year-old home at 564 Niagara St., a 40,000-square-foot building that it constructed and opened in August 2016. It already has 240 people there, so Vazquez said they may relocate some of the "value-based" teams and nurse triage telephone groups to the new site to free up space. However, most of the employees on Main Street – which he estimates will number at least 100 – will be new.

"I need to do more patient education," he said. "They have really good training rooms in that facility."

The proximity to nearby hospitals offers the opportunity to "divert" patients from the emergency room who may already be members of the G-Health organizations, so they obtain treatment within the in-house network, he added.

"It's nice, because it's in the medical corridor area," said Vazquez, who also owns and leads Urban Family Practice, which is also part of G-Health, along with the Greater Buffalo United Independent Physicians Association (GBUIPA). "Being there, it makes us more accessible. We will need more people than we presently have to do that."

Belmont Housing lists headquarters near medical campus for sale

G-Health also has a location on Jefferson Avenue, where it does "a lot of work on the East Side," Vazquez said, so "being on Main Street gives us a different kind of position."

"We have the East Side and the West Side," he said. "Now we get closer to the medical corridor."

Belmont, a nonprofit that advocates for accessible and affordable housing, put its one-story building on the market last December for $3.5 million, citing the proximity to the medical campus and the burgeoning property values in that area. The agency and its 125 employees had occupied the entire building, but wanted a larger home.

The facility was constructed in 1989 on 1.53 acres of land and expanded in 2004, and it includes on-site surface parking for 62 vehicles. Belmont also has an office on Spruce Street in North Tonawanda.

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