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Seavest and Ciminelli Break Ground on $100 Million Project

Buffalo, NY (PRWEB) September 20, 2013

Developing and acquiring innovative healthcare facilities that address and anticipate industry trends has been a cornerstone of the investment strategy for Seavest Healthcare Properties LLC for decades. It is a proven formula that has enabled the White Plains, N.Y.-based private real estate firm to successfully develop and acquire more than three dozen medical office buildings (MOBs) and other healthcare facilities throughout the United States, delivering superior long-term value for its hospital partners, tenants and investors.

Now Seavest is undertaking its largest and perhaps most prominent and innovative project to date: the $100.7 million, six-story, 301,473 square foot (gross) Conventus building, which will be an integral part of the fast-growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC).

To be developed and owned by Seavest in partnership with Ciminelli Real Estate Corp., the Conventus building, dubbed the Northern Gateway to the BNMC, will house a range of clinical, research and academic office users. It will occupy about 1.4 acres at 1001 Main St., one of the last undeveloped land parcels on the campus. Already a major hub for healthcare and an engine for regional economic growth, the 120-acre BNMC is home to more than 2 million square feet of clinical, education and biomedical research space, with another 2 million square feet scheduled to be completed by 2016.

Kaleida Health, the largest healthcare provider in western New York, and UB|MD, a leading medical practice associated with the University at Buffalo (UB) and the largest physicians’ group in western New York, will anchor the facility, with additional space available for hospitals, independent physician groups, biomedical research firms and other healthcare-related users, as well as about 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. The Class A MOB also will feature a two-level underground parking garage with 332 spaces, and the developers plan to seek LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Conventus is Latin for ‘meeting’ or ‘coming together,’” Seavest Senior Managing Director & CIO Jonathan L. “John” Winer explains, “and this building will do just that. It will not only bring together a range of healthcare-related users, encouraging the collaborative sharing of resources and ideas, it will also serve as a physical hub for the BNMC, conveniently linking several of the other clinical, academic and research buildings.”

Conventus will be connected via second-floor skybridges to the existing UB Research Institute on Addictions, as well as two buildings now in development: Kaleida’s John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, which will replace its existing Women and Children’s Hospital, and the new UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. In addition, a renovation of a nearby metro rail station will ensure that patients, shoppers and commuters will be able to access the Conventus building without ever being exposed to the elements.

“A fundamental part of our strategy is to develop and acquire significant healthcare facilities aligned with successful health systems,” says Douglas F. “Doug” Ray, President and CEO of Seavest Healthcare Properties. “With Kaleida Health, the leading provider in western New York, as our lead tenant, we have certainly achieved that strategic objective.”

“The fact that Conventus is located so strategically and will be connected to the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and UB’s new Medical School creates a synergistic physical environment,” says Joe Kessler, Chief Financial Offer for Kaleida Health. “The resulting efficiency brings clinical, research and academia together in a way that will, ultimately, translate into a higher level of patient care.”

Another core strategy for Seavest is to collaborate with high-quality local partners, combining its strategic capital and national perspective with the market-specific knowledge and expertise of hometown real estate developers. As mentioned above, Seavest’s partner for the Conventus project is Ciminelli Real Estate Corp., a Williamsville, N.Y.-based full-service commercial real estate firm.

“Ciminelli Real Estate has had investments in the campus neighborhood for 20 years,” President and CEO Paul Ciminelli says. “We have been patiently waiting for the right development opportunity – and the right partner. As the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus becomes an increasingly important regional medical destination, this project clearly presents that opportunity, and as one the national leaders in healthcare real estate, Seavest is that ideal partner.”

“Ciminelli is western New York’s preeminent real estate developer and services provider,” Mr. Ray says, “with a local development portfolio of more than 5 million square feet. It is also an experienced healthcare real estate developer. We are confident that this first project with Ciminelli will be successful, and we look forward to working on additional opportunities with Ciminelli in the future.”

Ciminelli and Seavest were brought together by the New York-based investment banking and financial advisory firm Hammond Hanlon Camp LLC (H2C). Seavest, which has focused on acquiring and investing in MOBs and other healthcare projects since the 1980s, will be the majority owner of the Conventus building and will finance its investment through its third fund, Seavest Properties III.

The Conventus project will also be a key contributor to the economic growth associated with the BNMC. Buffalo is enjoying an economic resurgence, local officials say, with more than $1.7 billion worth of commercial real estate projects are in the works. More than half of those projects are taking place in the BNMC.

“We are always happy to make good investments,” Mr. Winer says, “but we feel even better about this project because of the significant, positive, long-term economic impact Conventus and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will continue to have on the western New York region.” The project is also a brownfield redevelopment, replacing contaminated soil and tired industrial buildings with clean, modern, sustainable medical space.

The Conventus project is under construction and is scheduled to be completed by spring 2015. Kideney Architects is the project architect, LPCiminelli is the general contractor, and M&T Bank and First Niagara Bank are providing construction financing.

A limited amount of space remains available for lease in the new Conventus. Healthcare providers, medical device manufacturers and medical researchers, retailers and others who offer complimentary products and services and who are interested in learning more are encouraged to contact Robert G. McDonnell of Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. at (716) 631-8000 or rmcdonnell(at)ciminelli(dot)com.

About Kaleida Health

Kaleida Health is the largest healthcare provider in western New York, serving the area's eight counties with state-of-the-art technology and comprehensive healthcare services. Its expert, compassionate healthcare professionals are committed to providing the best possible outcomes and experience for patients and visitors. More than one million sick or injured patients choose a Kaleida Health facility annually, including Buffalo General Medical Center, DeGraff Memorial Hospital, Gates Vascular Institute, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and numerous community healthcare centers. Kaleida Health also provides important services through two long-term care facilities, behavioral health programs and the Visiting Nursing Association of WNY, Inc. For more information, please visit

About Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.

Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. is a full-service commercial real estate services firm that is dedicated to delivering the highest level of expertise and service to our clients. Core areas of service include development, property/facilities management, asset management, leasing, acquisition and disposition. With a history of being both an owner and operator of a substantial commercial real estate portfolio, coupled with decades of experience in these service areas, Ciminelli brings the added benefit of an ownership viewpoint to each client we represent. Our commercial real estate services are currently provided throughout New York State, Southwest and Central Florida, Western and Eastern Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The firm has a portfolio of more than 11 million square foot of commercial space managed or developed, and a 30-year track record of success. It has a team of more than 150 dedicated professionals and has offices in New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. To learn more about Ciminelli Real Estate Corp., please call (716) 631-8000 or visit

About Hammond Hanlon Camp LLC

Hammond Hanlon Camp LLC is an independent investment banking and strategic advisory firm, with an exclusive focus on the healthcare community and related organizations. The firm traces its heritage back almost 30 years through its predecessor organizations, including Shattuck Hammond Partners. The firm’s principals have been lead advisors on hundreds of transactions in the healthcare industry representing billions of dollars in value. The company serves clients across the nation from offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and San Diego. H2C’s real estate investment bankers have a long track record of success in the healthcare real estate industry and are currently acting as financial advisor on numerous transactions nationwide. Hammond Hanlon Camp LLC conducts securities-related engagements through its wholly-owned subsidiary, H2C Securities Inc., an SEC licensed broker-dealer and member of FINRA, SIPC and the MSRB. To learn more about Hammond Hanlon Camp LLC, please call (212) 257-4500 or visit

About Seavest Healthcare Properties LLC

Seavest Healthcare Properties LLC is a real estate investment management firm focused on joint venturing with established developers to build new properties, directly acquiring existing properties, and asset managing medical office buildings, outpatient facilities and similar healthcare real estate assets. A pioneer in this sector, Seavest made its first healthcare real estate investment in the mid-1980s. Today, the firm has a significant portfolio of medical office and outpatient properties which are controlled through dedicated healthcare real estate investment funds. For more information, please visit or call (914) 683-8474.

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