association news Western New York Chapter

Our November monthly meeting was a full house with over 85 attendees!

We would like to thank Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for coming to

discuss current events and goals in Erie County. 

Send us an email at for comments

or see how you can become a member today!

Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, December 14th.

♦ Summer Social at RiverWorks - Buffalo, NY ♦

A great night of socializing and fun with local commercial real estate practitioners! Some lucky winners received door prizes and gift cards. Vita Wu, was our second winner for the UB Real Estate Development Masters Program Scholarship winner. She was able to attend our event and was introduced to the crowd! Thank you to all those who made her feel welcome in our great Western New York community. We were also able to recognize our retiring Administrative Assistant, Cheryl Brown, with over two years of service working with our WNY Chapter of NYSCAR. We wish her well with her next endeavor and would like to thank her for all of her hard work she did for the organization! 
























Thank you to all of our attendees and sponsors.

We are looking forward to next year!




Bob Shibley - Where Should The New Buffalo Train Station Be?


The Dean of University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning, Robert (Bob) Shibley, was the featured speaker at the March Breakfast Meeting.  As the lead facilitator of the Governor appointed committee to identify the best location for a new downtown Buffalo train station, Bob provided the full house with an insider’s perspective on how the process has worked to date.  Beyond the physical aspects of a location, several other factors were discussed when making a recommendation of this nature.  What some consider a “slam dunk” is equally met with reasoning on why the location should be located elsewhere. Thank you for taking the time to come and speak to our members and guests!



The WNY Chapter of NYSCAR held their 16th Annual Board Installation and Awards Dinner at Acqua Restaurant and Banquets.  Almost 200 people attended this premier event to witness the swearing in ceremonies for the 2017 Officers and Board of Directors along with the presentation of the transaction awards. Three additional awards were presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the region.  Recently retired, Nancy Dobson, was given a President's Award to recognize her accomplishments at Uniland Development over the past 42 years.  Meritorious Service honors were presented to Tom Dee, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and the C. Stuart Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Jim Geiger of McGuire Development.

A special thank you to our generous sponsors who made this event so successful.  We are pleased that a portion of the proceeds go towards the WNY NYSCAR Real Estate Development Scholarships at the University of Buffalo.

​Each year, nominations are submitted to determine the Largest Broker Assisted Sale and Lease Transaction along with the Transaction Volume Award, which is presented to the Realtor who participated in the greatest number of sales or lease deals.

Largest Broker Assisted Sale

​1st Place:   Chris Greco, Greco Real Estate     $7,450,000 Sale of (156) Unit Apartment Complex at 71 Linda Drive, Cheektowaga

2nd Place:   Gary Greco, Greco Real Estate    $4,250,000 Sale of (182) Unit Apartment Portfolio, Tonawanda

3rd Place:   Carolyn Casilio, Casilio Real Estate    $2,700,000 Sale of 4055 Casilio Parkway, Clarence

Honorable Mention:  Bob Strell, Robert P. Strell Real Estate Advisory Services   $2,500,000 Sale of 101-131 California Drive, Williamsville


Largest Broker Assisted Lease

1st Place:  Bob Schell, Cushman+Wakefield Pryamid Brokerage   70,012 SF - 10 Year Lease to Travelers Indemnity Co. at 50 Lakefront Blvd., Buffalo

2nd Place:  Jim Geiger, McGuire Development     41,391 SF - 10 Year Lease to Gordon Food Service at the Elmwood Regal Center, Buffalo

3rd Place:  Tim Hourihan, RealtyUSA Commercial    46,200 SF-10 Year Lease to WB Mason at 2839-2871 Broadway, Cheektowaga


Transaction​ Volume

1st Place:     David Schiller, Cushman+Wakefield Pyramid Brokerage  -  25 Transactions

​2nd Place:    Patty Collins, Tudor Collins Commercial Real Estate  -  21 Transactions

​3rd Place:     Eric Tudor, Tudor Collins Commercial Real Estate  -  20 Transactions


   Congratulations to all of our winners!   

Invest Buffalo Niagara hosted Labor Market Assessment 2017 that revealed findings from a suite of four reports that explore Buffalo Niagara’s labor market. We will be leveraging the study findings to attract new businesses, jobs and investment to our area. We’ll also use the reports to inform the development of a new talent attraction initiative.  

But understanding what these findings mean for us today and where we go from here requires all of us. Educators and trainers can use the information in LMA/17 to support capacity building where training gaps are widest and where we produce a deficit of graduates. Economic developers and marketers can leverage identified strengths to grow industries and attract new companies and talent. Employees can use job projections to train for high demand good paying jobs. Organized labor can fuel best practices to strengthen companies and industries. Elected officials can support policies and investments that leverage regional strengths and tackle challenges. 

Please find enclosed findings from our LMA/17. We hope that you share these reports as needed within your organization:

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Click here to download Who’s Our Economy? and How Competitive Are Payroll Costs? 

  • Who’s Our Economy? – offers an overview of the regional economy, labor force, and target industries.
  • How Competitive Are Payroll Costs? – takes a deep examination regional wages, salary trends and employee benefits.

Click here to download Where Are Our Opportunities? and What Role Does Labor Management Play?

  • Where Are Our Opportunities? – Explores underemployment, labor availability, the landscape of workforce training, and credential building for high-demand jobs in the region's target industries.
  • What Role Does Labor Management Play? – Offers a look at labor management relations trends and best practices from within the region.

The four reports were developed as the result of a regional labor market study commissioned by Invest Buffalo Niagara and conducted by the University at Buffalo Regional Institute. This work was accomplished thanks to the generous support National Fuel Gas Company, National Grid, New York Power Authority, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Say Yes to Education Buffalo, the Niagara USA Chamber and the Niagara County Center for Economic Development. 


RealtyUSA Merges with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

Merle L. Whitehead, President and CEO of RealtyUSA, and Howard W. "Hoddy" Hanna, III, Chairman of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, announced that RealtyUSA has merged into the Howard Hanna Real Estate family of companies. This merger combines the largest residential real estate broker in New York State with the largest broker in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  RealtyUSA's Commercial Divison will also work under the Howard Hanna brand.

"I have known and respected the Hanna family for years. Their growth in the last decade has been amazing. A common theme of commitment to our agents by developing the best in products and services for customers and clients will assure our combined success," said Mr. Whitehead.

The merger ranks Howard Hanna as the 3rd largest real estate company in the United States. The combined performance of the joint company is $16.2 billion in closed sales volume last year and 89,737 closed transactions. The combined strength of the companies is more than 9,000 sales associates and employees in 270 offices. Mr. Whitehead will become Chairman of the combined company in New York State.

"We always look to move forward," said Helen Hanna Casey, President and CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. "We made the decision in the mid-1980s to remain independent, with the goal of always being a large regional broker in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Great Lakes regions. And when you find a prominent company that is run with the utmost integrity and is so like-minded with complementary management styles and great managers, it makes sense to come together. We’ve been in New York since 2003 in Chautauqua County, and last May Nothnagle Realtors merged with us, adding 32 offices in Western New York, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes areas. Armand D’Alfonso of Nothnagle will be President of the entire New York organization."

Expansion in Buffalo and entry into the next major metropolitan areas of Syracuse and Albany is a logical move for Howard Hanna. "RealtyUSA and Howard Hanna agents will benefit from each other’s markets for referrals in areas they do not serve. When we expand our reach, everybody within the Howard Hanna family of companies benefits," said Ms. Casey.

Founded in Buffalo, New York in 1959, the company now known as RealtyUSA emerged as a dominant local, statewide and national real estate leader, as did Howard Hanna, founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1957. The two companies have known and worked with each other for decades through relationships in the real estate business and began discussions about six months ago about a possible merger.

There will not be a change to the company name or to local leadership. Both the RealtyUSA and Nothnagle logos will feature the tagline "A Howard Hanna Company."

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services is a full-service real estate company providing residential and commercial brokerage, mortgage, closing, title, insurance, appraisal, corporate relocation, property management and land development services.


In a continuing effort to live our mission for providing Education, Networking and Community Awareness, the first recipient of the WNY NYSCAR Scholarship for UB's Real Estate Development Masters Program has been awarded to Kevin Turner.  A Williamsville resident, Kevin had also been accepted to Columbia University for his graduate studies but our scholarship provided the incentive needed to keep him in WNY.

Kevin Turner begins in fall 2016 as an M.S. Architecture student with a focus in Real Estate Development at School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo. Kevin completed his undergraduate degree in Architecture in 2016 at UB, where he worked on projects integrating computational technologies into architecture and urban planning. Through these works, Kevin developed an interest in urban design and development, and seeks to research the role of computing in real estate during the course of his graduate studies. Kevin currently works with Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.’s planning department on site development and building designs for various use types. As a designer, Kevin strives to create better buildings and better spaces for people to live and work in, for both small- and large-scale developments. Mixing the professions of architect and developer into one has become the focus of Kevin’s career: becoming a ‘design-developer’ who actively pushes a movement for sustainable, future-focused development.


Kevin Turner

The WNY Commercial Real Estate community recently lost two long time practitioners:

BLAINE - Thomas E. "Tom" Cdr, Usn (Ret.) May 24, 2016 of St. Petersburg, FL, formerly of Hamburg; beloved husband of Theresa and the late Nancy Blaine; dear father of Sheryl (Walter) Wright, Lisa Avery, Laura (David) Smith, Hutch (Amy) Hepinstall, Brandon (Ashley) Hepinstall and the late Laura (Michael) Swindell; also survived by ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; son of the late F. Edward and Margaret Blaine; brother of Carolyn (Charles) Lamar and the late Barbara Bronsing; also survived by cousins, nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Tom's life will be held at the Buffalo Yacht Club, One Porter Ave., Buffalo, 14201, Sunday, June 26 from 2-5 PM, with Words of Remembrance at 2:15. - See more at:


PLASKIN - Albert May 4, 2016 of Amherst, NY. Beloved husband of the late Elizabeth; dear father of Glenn and Debra (Martin Poole), Madison Kane; brother of the late Jack Plaskin and Ida Hesch. Mr. Plaskin was a proud Marine Veteran of WWII, owner of Roger Lewis Shops and a commercial real estate agent for M.J. Peterson. - See more at:


Here is another video that promotes the revitalization and reviews the history of Buffalo.

Ciminelli's Conventus building was named the winner of the Excellence in Office Development category.  Conventus was the only finalist outside of New York City.  

The ULI event recognizes exemplary land use projects in NYS that raise the bar for development, design, planning and sustainability. The level of competition was extremely high;
4 World Trade Center was one of Conventus' two competitors in the category of
Excellence in Office Development.

ULI New York selected the winners based on how a project distinguished itself as part of a
high-quality environment, and whether the development was
commercially successful.
Congratulations to the entire Ciminelli team for its hard work and dedication to the project!