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New tenants move into UB Gateway

exterior facade of the UB Gateway building

Published January 19, 2012

UB’s downtown campus is growing. By early February, nearly 100 UB employees who had been based at various sites will have moved into new digs in the UB Gateway, the former M. Wile building at Goodell and Ellicott streets. The historic structure is undergoing an approximately $4 million renovation.

The Gateway’s largest new tenant is the Department of Family Medicine, the first department in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to move downtown as part of the university’s plan to improve regional health care and revitalize Buffalo’s economy by relocating the medical school to downtown Buffalo.

Other components of UB’s move downtown include the new Center for Translational and Clinical Research in the UB-Kaleida Health building under construction at Goodrich and Ellicott streets, a new Educational Opportunity Center under construction adjacent to the Gateway building and a new medical school, which is expected to be completed in 2016.

This week, the Department of Family Medicine finished moving 75 faculty members and staff into the UB Gateway from a cinderblock building on the campus of Erie County Medical Center on Grider Street. Beginning today, the department can be reached at 816-7227.

“With the move of UB’s Department of Family Medicine into the UB Gateway building, we are taking another step in moving the UB medical school to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), in closer proximity to most of Buffalo’s major hospitals and medical research institutions,” says Michael Cain, vice president for health sciences at UB and dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “The Department of Family Medicine also now will be closer to the resources of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, and the new Clinical and Translational Research Center under construction within the joint UB-Kaleida Health building on the BNMC.”

Thomas C. Rosenthal, department chair, notes that the unit’s new home has some distinct advantages. “It’s a nice, new, modern facility on the downtown campus; it will allow for better work flow in the department,” he says.

In addition, the proximity to some of UB’s most sophisticated information technology resources is a big asset. “One of the challenges we face in primary care is that we work with so many different diagnoses and diseases with our patients, it is often difficult to detect patterns,” Rosenthal says. “In order to more readily see trends, we tend to do a lot of research on large population databases. Being so close to the facilities and expertise of the Center for Computational Research in the UB Center of Excellence is going to provide a real benefit.”

The UB Gateway building is part of the UB Downtown Gateway complex, which will consist of the Gateway building and the four-story Educational Opportunity Center building, expected to be completed in spring 2013; the buildings will be connected. The Gateway complex will form a cornerstone of UB’s downtown campus, providing the Buffalo Niagara community with greater access to UB’s academic and community programs, strengths and resources.

The overall goal of the UB Gateway to enhance the quality of life in Buffalo and surrounding communities prompted the move of the administrative offices of Millard Fillmore College (MFC) into the Gateway building last month. The move returned MFC, UB’s college for continuing education and academic outreach, to its roots in downtown Buffalo after nearly 60 years on the South Campus. MFC’s current course and certificate programs will continue to be offered primarily online and at the North and South campuses.

“MFC’s move to the UB Downtown Gateway is significant to its mission and to UB’s commitment to serving citizens of Western New York,” says Larry R. Gingrich, associate dean of MFC. “We look forward to developing partnerships with business and organizations, and launching new programs for continuing and professional studies.”

Over the next four to six weeks, additional units moving into the UB Gateway include the School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which helps local businesses grow and prosper through leadership development and experiential learning, and the Center for Educational Collaboration, a comprehensive, joint effort between UB and the Buffalo Public Schools to improve academic outcomes for all of the district’s students.

Existing tenants of the UB Gateway, some of which are moving into newly renovated space in the building, include the UB Regional Institute, an interdisciplinary research and policy center that applies evidence-based analysis to issues affecting regions; the Office of Economic Engagement, which provides resources and expertise to assist local businesses and governments; and the administrative offices of UBMD, the parent organization of the medical practices of the UB medical school. UBMD represents more than 500 UB faculty physicians.

The Buffalo Employment Training Center and URS are the Gateway building’s non-UB tenants.

The historic UB Gateway structure forms the gateway to UB’s downtown campus and the nearby Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Home to the local clothing manufacturer M. Wile Co. from 1924 to 1964, this example of a “daylight factory” is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building’s refurbished space, envisioned and developed by UB’s Capital Planning and Facilities units, preserves its historical character while providing a highly functional space for its new tenants.

interior open office of the UB Gateway building
interior corridor in the UB Gateway building
office at the UB Gateway Building