A generational leadership change has begun at one of the region’s biggest commercial real estate developers. Paul Ciminelli, longtime president and CEO of Ciminelli Real Estate Corp., named his son, Kyle, as company president this week, anointing him as eventual successor to the top job as part of a planned transition.
The elder Ciminelli remains as CEO with ultimate control, and will continue to focus on large-scale development projects and strategic relationships, while also guiding the overall vision. But Kyle Ciminelli, formerly executive vice president of the family-owned company, will now oversee the growth of the Newmark Ciminelli real estate brokerage partnership, as well as acquisitions and investments. James Gottstine remains chief operating officer.
“My son Kyle has always shared my interest in commercial real estate and development,” said Paul Ciminelli, 64. “His education and career path have helped shape a strong leader with vision and resolve, not to mention a love for Buffalo and Western New York. It was wonderful to see his return home in 2019 and today is marked by that same level of excitement.”
Born in Western New York, Kyle Ciminelli earned an undergraduate business degree from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business and a master’s degree in real estate development and finance from New York University’s School of Professional Studies. He spent the past 16 years at Newmark Group, a commercial real estate brokerage with 170 offices, before returning to Buffalo in 2019.
The company’s operations and services will not change with the transition from one generation to the next. Paul Ciminelli said he and his son have a “ballpark” time frame for the next steps, but “there are things that we’re both working on to make that happen.”
The shift follows a similar path already set by competitors at Ellicott Development Co. and Uniland Development Co., where William Paladino and Michael Montante have already taken over as CEOs for the respective companies from their entrepreneurial fathers, Carl Paladino and Carl Montante Sr. Previously, Randy Benderson took over as CEO of Benderson Development Co., after the death of his father and company founder Nate Benderson.
Ciminelli was founded in 1981 by Frank Ciminelli Sr., and now owns, manages or has developed 27 million square feet of office, industrial, residential and medical property in seven states. Paul Ciminelli became president and CEO in 2010 after buying out his father, and expanded the company’s property management and other services, including for third-party clients. “My goal has always been to make this a third-generation company,” Paul Ciminelli said.