Tax Credits Give Boost to Roswell Development

November 12, 2013 Updated Nov 12, 2013 at 4:42 PM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Business First

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Tax Credits Give Boost to Roswell Development

November 12, 2013 Updated Nov 12, 2013 at 4:42 PM EDT

Roswell Park Cancer Institute will receive millions in state tax credits to help offset the costs of its $44 million Clinical Sciences Center.

The tax credits were considered crucial for the development of the clinical sciences center that will house a number of medical services including an expanded Breast Cancer and Mammography Center. It will also allow for Roswell Park to offer more services to an increased patient load.

The 11-story, 142,000-square-foot facility, under construction at the southeast corner of Carlton and Michigan streets, is set to open in 2015. Elected representatives from the city, state and federal government were on hand Tuesday to announce the equity received through the New Markets Tax Credit Program.

In all, the center is slated to receive $30.5 million in the federal tax-credit program, which will yield $6.3 million in construction funds for the project.

“The center is not only an important new asset in the fight against cancer,” said Sen. Charles Schumer. “But, it will also provide new jobs to the local community, help grow the important Buffalo Niagara Medical Camps, and should serve as a clear example that the New Market Tax Credit program is an important part of our economic development tool chest.”

In Buffalo alone, more than $140 million worth of private sector-driven developments have been aided by the tax credit program. That includes Iskalo Development’s renovation of the historic Electric Tower and the development of the Innovation Center inside the medical campus footprint. The program is set to expire at the end of this year, although federal leaders like Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, have said they will press their counterparts in Washington to extend the initiative.

“We need to ensure Roswell Park stays independent, strong and leads the nation in cancer research for many more years to come,” said Higgins.

The Clinical Sciences Center, to be connected to the main hospital by bridges, will house an expanded chemotherapy clinic, a breast center and patient education programs. It will be developed in phases, with the first phase carrying the $44 million development price tag.

The project represents the first major expansion to clinical services at the hospital since 1998. Roswell Park broke ground on the project in April.

“Securing this financing was a priority of my administration,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

Support for the project came through a $25 million capital campaign. Major donors include a group of 10 individuals and companies — dubbed the Circle of 10 — who gave $1 million apiece to kick off the first phase of fundraising; $1 million from Al Maroone of Maroone Ford; and New Era Cap Co., which donated $1.5 million. Another $1 million will come from Dunkin’ Donuts through fundraising deals for coffee coupon books and in-kind donations; as well as $500,000 from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.

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