Where the Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital's tower once stood, work crews are now preparing to erect a senior apartment building. Officials with Canterbury Woods joined elected leaders to mark the formal commencement of construction.
The $41 million Canterbury Woods Gates Circle building, when finished, will offer 53 independent-living apartments. The building, which will be a mix of terra cotta, brick, limestone and glass, is expected to be completed in about 17 months.
Mayor Byron Brown says the project shows that Buffalo is a place where citizens of all ages can live, work and invest.
"The confidence that Canterbury Woods is placing in our community is only going to attract more investment, more growth and more development in the City of Buffalo," the mayor said.
Canterbury Woods Gates Circle will be, according to officials, the only senior housing of its kind in an urban setting in New York State.
Officials report there are more than 130 people already signed up on a waiting list.
"What it does say to us is there is tremendous amount of Buffalonians who want to stay in the City of Buffalo," said Robert Wallace, president and CEO of Canterbury Woods. "It certainly adds to the vibrancy. One of the reasons why there are 130 people on that list is that these are the folks that have been a part of Buffalo for generations. They are still vibrant to the City of Buffalo and they want to be part of the evolution of the City of Buffalo."
The Canterbury Woods project underwent changes during the planning process, which often times included contentious public meetings and concerns raised by nearby residents. Mayor Brown suggests the neighborhood, for the most part, is satisfied with the adjustments but he encouraged anyone with continued concerns to provide their input.
"I would say to those residents that their involvement is critically important to us," said Mayor Brown. "Public participation helps to make the development process better, more successful, and we look forward to continuing to hear the input and feedback of residents in this part of the community."
Canterbury Woods Gate Circle is just the first of several projects planned for the former hospital campus. Developer TM Montante holds the rest of the land and is planning to construct mixed-use spaces including townhouses, a fitness center, grocery store and ground-level retail.