What’s next for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus?

What’s next for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus?

By | The Buffalo News | Published | Updated

The newly opened $270 million John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital was a page turner in the latest chapter of the burgeoning downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

So was the December opening of the University at Buffalo’s $375 million new home for its Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The completion of the new projects mark a turning point for the 120-acre campus at the epicenter of Buffalo’s renaissance.

In 2002, the campus was in its infancy with just three companies. Now boasting 4.5 million square feet of development and $1.4 billion in investments, the campus has moved beyond just medical institutions. It has taken shape with a diverse mix of health care, life science and technology companies, becoming fertile ground for entrepreneurs and their startups.

There is still more to come.

Campus planners are aiming for BNMC to rival medical campuses in places like Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Among the next steps are strengthening ties with higher education and the private sectors.

“We are so well positioned with all the institutions and assets that are here and now want to embrace the excellent universities and colleges,” said Matthew K. Enstice, CEO and president of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. “We plan to build out” – meaning renovate – “more space for them to have a location so they can interact and be a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that we have here.”

A big part of that vision is twp-contenting into local small and large companies, especially mature ones, and including them in the campus’ vision for its innovation district. “The world is changing so quickly in technology, that we’re putting a structure in place to help multiple, different companies innovate,” Enstice said.

Here’s what’s coming next on the Medical Campus:

• Design work is expected to start for renovation of existing buildings on the former Osmose Holdings site. In 2016, BNMC bought the 4.4-acre parcel, which is located at the northern edge of campus at Ellicott and Best streets and has parking for 200. It is expected to be a magnet for mature private-sector companies, along with universities and colleges, but will not be a second incubator, BNMC officials say.

• Ellicott Development Co. has a $4 million adaptive reuse development project underway at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, just north of the campus at Main and Best streets. To the south, Ellicott is planning a six-story retail and office building at 1091 Main St.

• Along the western edge of the campus, design work will begin for a redo of a critical stretch of Main Street from Goodell toward Canisius College. Meanwhile, a $7.5 million overhaul of Allen Street, including redesigned sidewalks and widened sections of the street, is expected to begin. Work will be done in phases, stretching from the eastern end of Allen toward Wadsworth.

• Workers will put the finishing touches on the exterior of UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which opened to students earlier this month at 955 Main St. Final terra cotta panels are being installed on the Washington Street side of the building by spring. Most of the university’s labs are being moved in from mid-January through mid-March. With the medical school fully operational, 2,000 faculty, staff and students will be there daily.

• The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s newly renovated Allen Medical Campus Station has been integrated into the medical school. The station features “Gut Flora,” a colorful public art sculpture by Shasti O’Leary Soudant, and a newsstand opens this month. A one-block tunnel that serves as a pedestrian passageway to Washington Street will open beneath the medical school.

• The campus’ ninth pedestrian skybridge will be designed and constructed later in the year. It will span High Street, linking the Conventus medical office building to the UB Medical School. The new $1.5 million connector comes after three other skybridges just opened in November: one from Conventus to Oishei Children’s Hospital, another from Children’s Hospital to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, and a third leading out the back of Children’s Hospital to a new parking ramp at 854 Ellicott St.

• By late May, the $40 million, 1,825-space parking ramp behind Oishei Children’s Hospital at 854 Ellicott will be completed. The top half of the eight-story ramp has been under construction since late 2017. The bottom half of the eight-story ramp opened Nov. 10 with Oishei Children’s Hospital.

• The 128,000-square-foot Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott St. will be completely full by the end of March.

Biz Talk: Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus CEO talks about future growth

Biz Talk: Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus CEO talks about future growth

By | The Buffalo News | Published

After Amherst native Matthew K. Enstice wrwp-contented up stints in the entertainment industry that took him to Broadway Pictures in Los Angeles and “Saturday Night Live” in New York City, his career dramatically swerved back to Buffalo.

He landed at the helm of the nonprofit organization overseeing the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Now, 17 years later, Enstice finds himself at the pulse of the expanding campus footprint, as he guides a shifting momentum in the campus’ growth.

With a collective projected workforce of 16,000 this year, the Medical Campus continues to make its mark – from hospitals to clinical and research facilities.

“We deliver health care here, and we’re going to do high-end health care here, but it’s changing,” said Enstice, president and chief executive officer of BNMC Inc. “Health care, as you know it, is a very, very different place. As that changes and evolves, you’re going to see opportunities in our community to utilize technology to develop companies for the future.”

The Medical Campus is already home to startup companies, entrepreneurs building businesses and high-tech companies. The momentum shows no signs of tapering off.

The future vision for the campus reflects a dedicated shift toward making room for local companies as they cut their teeth on new initiatives. The Medical Campus also looks to expand its innovation district to a 4.4-acre site on the northern edge of campus that once was the home of Osmose Holdings.

A visionary with high energy, Enstice is related to the prominent Jacobs family. His late father-in-law, Dr. Lawrence D. Jacobs, was a neurologist and world-renowned researcher specializing in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Often wearing a blue or white button-down shirt and khakis, he is known for his casual attire and carefree manner. He rarely breaks out a tie or suit.

Enstice recently met with The Buffalo News inside the campus Innovation Center to talk about the campus’ growth and future.

Q: What do monumental projects such as Children’s Hospital and the UB medical school say about the future of the campus?

A: People talked in years past that Children’s wasn’t moving over and there was a lot of controversy. But I think it showed how the community coming together can do great things, and that’s what Children’s is a true sign of.

Right now, the (medical school) has a major presence in the city. That, to me, is a game changer that I don’t think we can define right now.

I was sitting there at the opening, looking right out the window down Allen Street, and it was just amazing to envision what is Allen going to be like. What was so wild to see, was that I used to never see people walking there and there must have been 20 or 30 people coming out of that subway. It’s just the fact that we have so much traffic starting to develop down here. And that’s a real positive.

It’s just the beginning of more opportunities for our community to leverage these great assets and great organizations being here on the campus.

Q: How does Buffalo’s regional health care hub fit within the national mix?

A: I think that we’re one of the leading innovation districts. I just don’t think about it as health. If you look back to what Jerry Jacobs commissioned for looking at the future of medicine, it’s changing dramatically. And I believe we’re very well positioned because of our computer science school, our school of engineering and our ability to be leaders in the technology field. That’s what I think of.

So, we’ve been on the map. Having Children’s and the medical school down here, puts it on the map even more.

What we need to figure out how to do, and what we really want to do, in our next phases of development is to integrate the school of engineering and the schools of business.

How does Canisius College play a role here? How does Niagara University play a role here? How does Buffalo State College play a role here? We are so well positioned with all the institutions and assets that are here. So we plan to build out more space for them to have a location so they can interact and be a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that we have here.

Q: What kind of involvement?

A: Let’s look at the future of medicine and all the work that we’re doing in energy, all the work that we’re doing in transportation. What’s the major driver behind those industries as they’re changing? It’s technology. We’re well positioned in building our community out to have a technology foundation that can enable health care, energy, transportation.

I’m talking this campus. We have all the resources. I don’t think we’ll build a building for a college. We want to build an environment where local businesses, big companies, are going to have a presence here.

Our plan is to build out space to embrace the local economy. I think, for too long, a lot of local businesses have not been engaged, because there hasn’t been a vehicle.

I believe that if you look across as to what’s going to help strengthen local companies, they have to be a part of what we’re doing. I think we can all help one another. That is what this is all about. How do we build a platform and a foundation in technology for everybody? Tech is not the next chapter. It’s the current chapter. It’s really what is going to be our great opportunity for the future.

We’ll use the footprint of the existing (Osmose) space that we have. As of right now, we are not planning to build a new building in the near future. We are planning to renovate the existing space. I think, over time, various companies will start to come in, but within the year is our goal is to start to see this development really start to take off.

Q: What would you say to naysayers who didn’t think this vision for the campus would ever materialize in the fashion that it has so far?

A: If you stay together and you’re straightforward and honest with one another, great things can hwp-contenten. That is at the core of what builds all the great stuff that’s down here on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus … If you look at the 4.5 million square feet of development, the $1.4 billion worth of investment, that was because people worked, planned, developed together.

Q: What is the greatest challenge facing the campus?

A: I think the greatest challenge is that people continue to work together and support one another … I think the biggest challenge you have is that sometimes people forget what got you here.

Q: Parking is a constant complaint or concern, and there’s a huge push to get people to use public transit more.

A: We have off-campus shuttles running. We have public transportation being utilized and programs in place. And it’s starting to work. People are actually trying it and it’s working. While it’s not perfect, it is an option. And so to me, we will always have a parking spot here for every patient and visitor that comes down here.

What we would hope to see is that more people live in and around the campus, in and around the subway station.

The mayor continues to talk about reinvesting in Main Street with infrastructure. He’s committed $10 million so far, going toward Canisius. We want to see the mayor continue on that and go all the way and connect us to Canisius College. … I believe if you continue to do that, you’ll see more residential units pop up on Main Street. You’ll see more people using the transit. That’s what we want to see.

Q: There are signs of spinoff development in Allentown. But for the Fruit Belt neighborhood, there always seems to be an undercurrent of concern, gentrification, trying to preserve the Michigan Avenue corridor, and a push for more parking. What do you foresee for the Fruit Belt?

A: For the Fruit Belt, I hope that there’s continued investment there in the infrastructure. The mayor has done a great job at fixing the streets, the sidewalks, the trees and the lights. I hope they continue to do that because I want to see more people invest in that neighborhood. … We believe that will be a positive if the community is part of the solution there.

I’m really intrigued by what’s going on in Masten, Fruit Belt and Allentown – to me, they’re very similar in the sense that they’ve always been engaged in a part of the process with what’s going on with the campus. Everybody’s always talked about it. Everybody’s had a light on it.

What I’m interested in is what is going on to the north. We believe there’s going to need to be more of an engagement there. I think it’s a community that people maybe have not paid as much attention to. But they’re on the border of all this stuff that’s going on here. So, it’s probably already hwp-contentening and we don’t know it.

BNMC Hosts “Home for the Holidays” Event for Buffalo Expats

On Wednesday, December 27, 2017, the BNMC held “Home for the Holidays” at the Innovation Center, an event designed to inform and inspire expats about the growing opportunities on the Medical Campus and throughout the area. More than 40 former Buffalonians now living in cities like New York, Boston, D.C., Nashville, Austin and Portland arrived in the bitter cold eager to hear about the buzz in their hometown and left with a renewed sense of excitement in the possibility of returning to the city they once left. Watch the coverage from Channel 2.
Are you or someone you love interested in coming home to Buffalo? Join our mailing list for information about moving back. 

BNMC Will Host “Home for the Holidays” Expat Event

Want your BFF to move back to Buffalo? On Wednesday, December 27th, the BNMC invites all expats (those who grew up here but for some reason have left Buffalo) to see what the buzz is all about in their hometown! Matt Enstice, BNMC’s President & CEO, will present on Buffalo’s booming Innovation District at 10 a.m., followed by tours of the Medical Campus led by the BNMC team.
Note: this event is only for people with Buffalo ties now living in other cities. We do host other events for the local community throughout the year.

RSVP today at buffaloexpats.eventbrite.com.

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