The final piece of the puzzle has fallen into place for construction of the University at Buffalo's new downtown Medical School.
First Niagara Bank is donating property it owns at Main and High streets for the project on the growing Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus. UB President Satish Tripathi says a groundbreaking for the $375 million project is planned for the fall.
"Next month we are unveiling the full design of the building and then we expect it to be complete by the fall of 2016. So the students coming in in the class of 2020...they would come to the new building," Tripathi said.
Medical School Dean Michael Cain says becoming a part of the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus will help attract more high-quality doctors to the region.
"It means transforming Buffalo into a national innovator in medical education, research, and health care delivery, a so-called 'health care powerhouse' on par with Pittsburgh and other cities," Cain said.
The value of the donation is pegged at about $2 million but UB purchased the parcel for one dollar. First Niagara interim President and CEO Gary Crosby says the agreement is significant to the bank.
"To be one of the corporate citizens that is completely behind what, I feel, is going to be the economic engine for the City of Buffalo and the region in general, we're just very, very proud to be able to help," Crosby said.
First Niagara will be opening a temporary branch at Main and North streets to replace the one it is closing as part of the agreement.