Action at BNMC should serve as an example for entire city

With the University at Buffalo choosing the design firm for their new medical school in downtown’s burgeoning Medical Campus, things are looking up for the city’s fastest growing district.

(Buffalo Rising)

However, the winning firm (HOK), will not be building the stunning design that won out over the other four finalists will not even be built. Knowing that an internationally acclaimed firm will be leading the way to creating an iconic piece of development for a key district in the city is incredibly exciting.

The corner in which the new medical school will be built is should be bustling with action once all of the projects planned for the area are complete. According to Buffalo Rising, Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be moved nearby along with a new build from Ciminelli Development on the corner. All told, it will add up to three more serious additions to the entire district.

What I don’t understand is why the designs originally pitched for this project aren’t being considered for construction? Obviously UB and BNMC thought that HOK was more than capable of running with this project based on their submission. Why wouldn’t that submission be capable of actually being built? Hell, the New and BRO posted the pictures of the rendering as if it would be built. There are probably plenty of people thinking that construction will start on this building in the very near future. But there is  still a year left before shovels will be in the ground.

Now, I’m fully prepared to eat some crow if the actual design that HOK comes back with is superior to the dynamic structure that won the proposal. I just don’t see why they couldn’t say “you’re the winner, now let’s get our asses in gear and build this thing”.

Ultimately, there are reviews and additional pieces of the puzzle left to put together. Over the next year, HOK will surely take care of all of this. The one thing I respect about the BNMC and how they deal with expansion is their no nonsense approach. There are not countless committees and reviews like at Canalside. The BNMC knows that they have a parcel worthy of development, a shovel ready project that has been approved and they let the developer have at it. No monkeying around is what is allowing the BNMC to become a serious power player in Western New York and the medical community as a whole.

This building (which I hope is 12 stories) is slated to open in 2016. That is truthfully an accurate date of completion for a serious build such as this one. Between today and the official grand opening of UB’s med school, I hope to see Children’s and the Ciminelli building get off the ground. That way, in 2016, there will be a major new block of buildings standing where a few parking lots were just a few years previously.

The entire city needs to take a lesson from the BNMC. They have set a standard for what they expect and each new project meets those expectations. If other developement projects followed this lead, Buffalo would boast a dazzling array of buildings and activities downtown. For now, knowing that our medical campus is nearly unrivaled is a great start.

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