First Amherst plans new medical office building in Amherst

It’s been 25 years since the Obletz family purchased the large triangular lot along Sheridan Drive and the Youngmann Freeway, but the family’s real estate company is now ready to bring another development to the site alongside the existing Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

Citing increased demand for health services, First Amherst Development Corp. wants to construct a four-story medical office building, with over 140,500 square feet of space available for lease. Dubbed Sheridan Commons and designed by Kideney Architects, the upscale office building would be located behind and northeast of the courtyard and stand 65 feet tall.

The project would take up most of the 8.36-acre property, which is what remains of the original 11 acres of land the Obletz family purchased in 1997, after First Amherst built the four-story hotel a year later. The 108-room hotel was later sold, first to Rochester-based DelMonte Hotel Group and then again in 2017 to Rudra Management and Rosewood Hotels LLC of Cheektowaga for $6.5 million.

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Proposed elevations for a new four-story medical office building that First Amherst Development Corp. wants to build at 4110-4120 Sheridan Drive in Amherst.

Amherst Planning Council

The new office building would be accessible from the existing driveway leading to the hotel and would also include additional parking, access driveways, landscaping, lighting and utilities. But Kideney Architects’ plan would leave the heavily vegetated “permanent open space” area along the northern edge of the site – about 100 feet deep, totaling 2.09 acres – untouched.

First Amherst CEO Ben Obletz said the company had had “some preliminary conversations with some people” but no tenants were scheduled for what he said would likely be a multi-tenant building, account given its size. He said the developer wouldn’t break ground without at least one anchor tenant in place, but the company won’t begin actively marketing the space until it gets site plan approval. of the city for the project.

4110-4120 Sheridan Site Map

Proposed site plan for a new four-story medical office building that First Amherst Development Corp. wants to build at 4110-4120 Sheridan Drive in Amherst.

Amherst Planning Council

As a result, although First Amherst and Kideney have developed a building design, construction is unlikely to begin before late 2023 or early 2024, Obletz said. The authorities also do not yet have a cost estimate.

In addition to building related infrastructure and site improvements – including parking and stormwater management – First Amherst has had a significant presence on the property over the past two decades, although it has always had the intention to build offices on the rest of the property. He considered building a three-story, 90,000 square foot building in 2011, but it never materialized.

Since then, however, conditions have changed in favor of the state-of-the-art project, due to what the company called “increased demand for advanced healthcare facilities” and new efforts by the city” to establish and market designated areas as a corridor and destination for the medical industry.”

“We thought the time was right with the renewed interest in medical space in the suburban area,” Obletz said, citing neighboring developments at Excelsior Orthopedics, University Orthopedics and Dent. “It’s really a priority for the City of Amherst to build what it considers the suburban medical backbone along Sheridan Drive.”

But First Amherst must first ask the city to rezone 6.27 acres of the property at 4110-4120 Sheridan from “general business” to “deep corridor” to accommodate the project. And he’s also asking the city to remove a set of five zoning conditions that were imposed on the property in July 1997. Those conditions – which Stephen Obletz agreed to at the time as part of a “general business” rezoning ” would restrict what can be built, especially in height.

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