Over the past few months, I, as a community member, along with many have been taking a bittersweet look at the transition from the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in the Elmwood Village, to the Oishei Children’s Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Excitement that the children of our community have the best care, and the best chances for health outcomes at a premier, state of the art facility dominates. Yet in that outdated medical facility, many memories are held – for patients, family members and staff. Many births occured within those walls. Sadly, some lives were lost, from tragedy or illness. And many went to work there every day, for entire careers, dedicated to providing the best care possible to patients and families.
Sinatra & Company Real Estate, along with Ellicott Development Company were selected by the Kaleida Health as designated developers for the site in June of 2017, and acquired the property 5 months later as the hospital vacated. Now, this development team has begun to walk the halls, and imagine what will be. My footsteps echoed as I walked the largely quiet 9th Floor recently, and I couldn’t help but to be touched by what has been. Passing through the former emergency department I had my own memory of being in one of those treatment rooms with a child who had an unfortunate encounter with a watermelon seed. Long story for these purposes, but we were fortunate that all was a-ok. But for me, the memories are vivid. Ultimately this neighborhood will be rewoven together through an adaptive reuse of the core campus and its supporting facilities. In the meantime, the team is committed to recognizing that though this place will become different, it will forever remain a truly special place based upon the memories that were made there.