Albany Med breaks ground on Union Street center

Albany Medical groundbreaking ceremony held at 1769 Union St. on Monday August 22, 2016.Albany Medical groundbreaking ceremony held at 1769 Union St. on Monday August 22, 2016.

— Albany Medical Center and local officials broke ground Monday on an $8.5 million care and special services center at 1769 Union St.

“We’ve reached out and involved the community in this site,” said Ferdinand Venditti, executive vice president for system care delivery and the hospital general director at Albany Med.

Albany Med Community Division Gastroenterology, formerly known as the Schenectady GI Group before joining with Albany Med, will be moving into the new site on Union Street from their offices on Eastern Parkway.

One primary care office, Capital Care Medical Group, plans to partner with the new Albany Med site.

“From our perspective, there are times when our offices may be maxed out or there are other services that we may not be able to provide. It provides an alternative for our patients,” said Louis Snitkoff, chief medical officer for Capital Care Medical Group.

The partnership will allow primary care patients that are part of Capital Care to easily be seen by the EmUrgentCare physicians at Albany Med on Union Street.

“We’re working on data sharing now and keeping on top of HIPAA laws,” Snitkoff said. If a primary care patient needs urgent care treatment one evening and a follow-up with their primary care the next day, their primary care physicians at Capital Care would immediately be able to look into the patient’s record and find out what care the patient received the day beforehand.”

Cardiology Associates of Schenectady also will have office space in the building.

“They’ll be subleasing about 4,000 square feet from us on the first floor. So they can see patients here too,” Venditti said.

To Venditti, who grew up in Schenectady, the development of this center is a step toward returning Union Street to its roots.

“Growing up, I remember that Union Street was ‘Doctors Row.’ . . . Most physicians had their offices on Union Street,” Venditti said.

Developer Lou Lecce of Lecce Development said that this site was ideal because there aren’t very many sites in Niskayuna that are zoned for commercial use.

“We cleared six houses, a 10,000-square-foot post office, and a dentist office,” Lecce said.

Lecce relocated the post office and built another dentistry office next to the Albany Med site.

The new dentistry building opened in July, which allowed construction crews to clear the rest of the Albany Med site.

The building will total 37,821 square feet on three floors.

 Albany Medical 1769 Union St. rendition.

Albany Medical 1769 Union St. rendition.

“Urgent care and multispecialty services will be on the first floor, gastroenterology will be on the second and ambulatory surgery on the third,” Lecce said.

Lecce believes that the site will help to revitalize that section of Union Street by bringing in more people and offering new jobs.

Venditti said that the site would be a blend of physicians from Albany Medical Center and new hires, hopefully from within the community. He also mentioned that one new physician had previously worked at Ellis Hospital.

Which is one of the reasons why Ellis Medicine, another Capital Region medical company, may not be as excited about the new site. Ellis Hospital and Bellevue Woman’s Center are both within two miles of the new Albany Med Union Street location and offer similar services.

“I think there was some unrest from them at first, but I haven’t spoken with a representative from Ellis. We think we’re going to be providing complementary services, or additive services to them,” Venditti said.

Ellis Medicine did not return requests for comment for this story.

“It’s interesting because Albany Medical is going to be the new tenant but this is a project that the town of Niskayuna with Lou Lecce has been working on for about a year and a half, maybe more. It’s been quite a long process,” Niskayuna Town Supervisor Joe Landry said. “It’s not an easy thing. It takes a lot of people to put this project together and . . . the community has to come together.”

Albany Med hopes to have the building open by March 1.

Patient services

Medical services planned at the new Albany Medical Center facility on Union Street in Niskayuna:

  • Albany Med Community Gastroenterology Outpatient Practice
  • Albany Med Community General Surgery Outpatient Practice
  • Albany Med Multi-Specialty Outpatient Practice
  • Albany Med Ambulatory Endoscopy and General Surgery Suite
  • Albany Med EmUrgentCare in partnership with Capital Care Medical Group
  • Albany Medical Center Hospital Lab Services
  • Cardiology Associates of Schenectady

Reach Gazette reporter Indiana Nash at 417-9362, or @indijnash on Twitter.