A partnership between First Niagara and the University at Buffalo is helping turn plans for relocating its medical school to downtown Buffalo into reality. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us how UB acquired the third and final property needed to move forward with the project.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The First Niagara Bank branch on Main and High Street in Buffalo will soon be transformed into a key component of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
First Niagara is donating the parcel of land to the University at Buffalo for the new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
"This central location will put the medical school at the heart of our expanding downtown campus, the center of the region's emerging biosciences corridor, and a short walk from the hospitals, research centers and incubators that nurture new bioscience startup companies," said Satish Tripathi, president of UB.
While the parcel was appraised at approximately $2 million, the donation allows UB to purchase it for $1.
Officials with First Niagara said the donation is about more than just land.
"It's an investment in our region's growth and success," said Gary Crosby, First Niagara interim president and CEO.
The dean of UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Michael Cain, said the move and expansion will help attract world-class faculty.
"To provide exemplary teaching, outstanding patient care and innovative research. Professionals whose inventions and discoveries will change the course of 21st century health care," said Cain.
It's also expected to attract more patients and medical students. In fact, Cain said there's a 50 percent increase in the number of students from the class of 2013 staying at UB for their graduate training than the class of 2012.
Tripathi said, "This is a sign of the quality that's improving here in terms of medical education and medical training."
UB is planning a groundbreaking for early fall and expects construction to be complete in 2016.
As for the current home of the medical school, Tripathi said, "We are working on moving a couple of the professional schools from North Campus to the South Campus, especially the graduate school of education as well as the school of social work."
And First Niagara will continue its presence in the area: first with a temporary branch down Main Street and then with a permanent site in the Conventus Medical Office Building.