Citing a desire to be part of the city’s resurgence, Elderwood Senior Care is moving the bulk of its administrative operations downtown to Buffalo’s Hydraulics District.
Elderwood signed a 10-year lease for 25,000 square feet at 500 Seneca St., where it will house management and back office services, as well as offices for its managed long-term care program, its maintenance and construction subsidiary and training functions of its Elderwood Learning Center. In all, about 70 individuals will move to the site.
Other tenants at the restored former F.N. Burt Co. include Savarino Cos., developer of the facility, as well as Leadership Buffalo and Frontier Industrial Corp. The building also houses Tommyrotter Distillery, a restaurant, a dog daycare, exercise facilities as well as 110 apartments.
The move takes the company out of the suburbs for the first time: Elderwood was founded in Amherst in 1978 and has maintained offices in Williamsville on Limestone Drive and on Wehrle Drive since the 1990s. The company has experienced significant growth since 2013, when Post Acute Care LLC acquired 19 Elderwood sites in a $141 million deal.
Co-CEOs Jeffrey Rubin and Warren Cole have expanded transportation services and pharmacy services and added managed long-term care services. A major home-care initiative is also in the works, along with acquisitions of several additional senior-care operations, including a pending deal for the long-term care bed license at TLC Health’s Lake Shore Health Care Center.
Cole said moving closer to the downtown medical corridor allows the company to continue to grow relationships with hospitals, accountable care organizations and payers. The new space is just over two miles from the heart of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
“The evolution of post-acute services and health-care reform has created a new kind of relationship between the medical community and the post-acute services company that requires a level of collaboration that never existed before,” he said.
Samuel Savarino, owner and CEO at Savarino Cos., said Cole wanted a space to consolidate operations for the company, but saw additional opportunities as well.
“He saw that getting everyone together in one place, in a funky environment, was going to be good for his company, and thought that a number of employees might want to live at 500 Seneca,” he said. “It’s the combination of things the building itself offers.“
The six-story, 325,000-square-foot facility is filling up: Commercial space is 90 percent full, while about 70 percent of the residential units are leased.
Being downtown also brings Elderwood closer to both employees and the clients it hopes to serve outside of its 17 Western New York senior-care facilities. Equally important, Cole said the company is eager to be part of the action downtown.
“Whereas historically we were viewed and we may have viewed ourselves as a suburban company, I think the trend of corporate America is to locate in urban areas and be more progressive,” he said. “Future-looking companies understand that and are trying to make their moves accordingly.”
Elderwood is also taking several corporate apartments in the building for senior executives, including both Rubin, who has a home in Rhode Island, and Cole, who lives in New York City.
The company will leave behind a 8,700-square-foot leased space at 7 Limestone Drive, moving all of those operations to 500 Seneca. A second 10,000-square-foot space on Wehrle will remain home to its pharmacy, transportation, construction and print shop operations, for now.
Elderwood is expected to move into the renovated space by mid-summer 2016.