Dr. Todd Shatkin and Daemen University are seeking nearly $394,000 in sales tax breaks for the $7.85 million project to bring a new dental school and physical rehabilitation center to the Amherst campus.
Daemen said it lacks the financial resources to cover the real estate project, so Shatkin is taking it on and leasing it. But that means he would incur sales taxes that would otherwise not apply if the college did the project directly.
That is why they’re asking the Amherst Industrial Development Agency for the $393,750 in tax breaks, which are already factored into the school’s lease. Otherwise, the project would be put off or reduced so Daemen doesn’t have extra costs.
Shatkin, an Amherst dentist , is teaming up with nearby Daemen to create the Shatkin School of Dentistry and the Todd and Leslie Shatkin Institute for Mobility Innovation & Technology.
Shatkin says the school is “expected to draw a substantial number of students from outside of Erie County, likely on an international basis,” and will also provide more graduate school opportunities for local college students than the University at Buffalo Dental School can accommodate. The new school will also include a dental clinic that offers affordable dental care to neighborhood residents and others, while training the students.
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That would make it only the second dental school in the eight-county Western New York region, after University at Buffalo, although University of Rochester also has one an hour away.
Amherst dentist Dr. Todd Shatkin of Shatkin Dental Health is partnering with the university to construct the Shatkin College of Dentistry in part of the Phillips Brothers Supply building on Kensington Avenue, close to Shatkin’s Amherst dental facilities and the town’s growing “Medical Spine” along I-290.
The introduction of new programs helps Daemen raise its profile, while also filling a market need for more dentists. The combination of the school and rehab facility – which will help victims of stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries – also will bolster the town’s growing I-290 medical spine and life-sciences industry.
The two ventures will be academically housed within Daemen’s Department of Natural Sciences. But they will be physically located in facilities at 2500 and 2525 Kensington Ave., which are across the street from each other, at the intersection with Bentham Parkway. They are also adjacent to the Shatkin Dental Health medical business, which will support both ventures with dental facilities and expertise.
The one- and two-story building at 2500 Kensington houses Aesthetic Associates Centre, a plastic and dental surgery clinic run by Shatkin and his brother, Dr. Samuel Shatkin. Across the street is the 29,350-square-foot Phillips Brothers Supply office building, which Shatkin would lease with a future option to buy.
Plans call for renovating and equipping the two buildings for Daemen, which will lease the space from Shatkin.
The center will offer services not yet available in WNY to patients recovering from strokes and brain and spinal cord injuries – or those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.
The mobility institute will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative and orthopedic conditions, as well as help patients improve their ability to walk with robotic assistance.
It is estimated to serve 2,400 patients annually. .
The project is under review by the Amherst Planning Board, but was tabled until next month. If approved, Shatkin and Daemen want to start construction immediately, with occupancy by Jan. 1, 2024.