Ellicott, McGuire to Work on Holy Angels Makeover

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 9:45 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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Ellicott, McGuire to Work on Holy Angels Makeover

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 9:45 AM EDT

McGuire Development Co. and Ellicott Development Co. have formed a joint venture partnership to oversee the future of the now-closed Holy Angels Academy in North Buffalo.

The deal, in the works for the past few months, opens the door for a new future for the Hertel Avenue landmark, with possibly, a charter school or some other educational institution leasing the complex.

"Our main goal is to keep the property an academic facility," said James Dentinger, McGuire president. "We're currently in contact with several educational institutions and look forward to finding the ideal tenant."

Helping to seal the deal was the close friendship and working relationship between several top executives in both companies. The founders of both firms, Frank McGuire and Carl Paladino, are longtime friends with roots going back to their South Buffalo days.

"Our partnership with McGuire Development allows us to tap into each other's strengths to ensure the right tenant is paired with the facility," said William Paladino, Ellicott Development CEO. "With so many potential reuse opportunities, our aim is to find the solution that works best for the community."

Located on 5.37-acres of land, the campus includes a 75,000-square-foot school building that has more than 30 classrooms, a new library, 800-plus person seat auditorium, new gym and on-site parking. The Nardin Academy currently leases the gym for its basketball program,

Ellicott Development acquired Holy Angels in August during a well-attended and publicized auction. Carl Paladino bid $2.9 million for the property, out bidding fellow developer David Pawlik, who wanted to renovate the school into a 45-unit apartment complex.

At the time, Carl Paladino said he was considering a number of options for the property including leasing it to an unnamed charter school.

Under the terms of the pact, McGuire will assume all responsibilities for managing the campus. The two companies will jointly market the Holy Angels land.

Holy Angels closed this past spring following a 152-year run. The school fell victim to a dwindling student population.

The Holy Angels pact is the latest in several joint ventures between Ellicott Development and McGuire Development. The two have worked together on a multi-tenant building at 506 Delaware Avenue whose tenants include McGuire Development and Gurney Becker & Bourne. They also worked together on the regional FBI headquarters in downtown Buffalo and the New York State Department of Transportation building on Seneca Street just across from Coca-Cola Field.

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