association news Western New York Chapter

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 and our awards presentation.

Three awards presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the region. 


  • President's Award: Nancy Dobson (Uniland Development)
  • Meritorious Service honors: Tom Dee (Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation) 
  • C. Stuart Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award: Jim Geiger (McGuire Development) ​


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


​      Thank you to all that attended and also to our generous sponsors.


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 Chapter 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.



Ciminelli Wins Prestigeous Award 2016​

Ciminelli's Conventus Building was named the winner of the Excellene 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!

February 11, 2016

The 15th Annual NYSCAR Awards Dinner was another huge success.  Over 175 commercial real estate related professionals attended this popular event and were treated to an outstanding Happy Hour full of networking and camaraderie followed by a fabulous Filet and Shrimp Dinner.  The program began with the Installation of the Board along with words from Chapter President, Bill Heussler, and NYSCAR President, Brian DiNardo.  Immediate Past Chapter President, Bob Strell, was presented with a plaque from the Board and a special recognition as "Realtor of the Year" for NY State.

Award Winners

  • Transaction Volume of the Year - Patty Collins, Tudor Collins Commercial Real Estate: 25 Completed Sale or Lease Deals.   
  • Largest Broker Assisted Lease Transaction - Robert Schell, Cushman-Wakefield-Pyramid Brokerage:  109,000 SF Space leased to Soduxo at Airborne Commerce Park    1
  • Largest Broker Assisted Sale Transaction - Jim Geiger, Maguire Development
  • Meritorious Service - John Cappelino, Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA)

Robert P. Strell, WNY Chapter Immediate Past President, has been selected by NYSCAR as New York State's Commercial Realtor of the Year.  The annual award is given to a Commercial Realtor based upon his or her expertise and professionalism in the field, commitment to their community and to advancing the real estate profession.  "Bob is very deserving as he voluntarily commits countless hours of his time to our local chapter and the overall efforts of the organization",  said Bill Heussler, WNY Chapter President.  Brian Dinardo, NYSCAR President presented Bob with his award at the 15th Annual WNY NYSCAR Awards Dinner on February 11, 2016.  Bob is the President of Robert P. Strell Real Estate Advisory Services and is a member of NYSCAR's Board of Governors.  Congratulations Bob!

January 15, 2016: "I loved seeing a new side of this city, but most of all I loved the people in Buffalo, who were as warm as the temperature was cold the day I visited (26 degrees, in case you were wondering). They asked me how I would feel if my daughters moved to Buffalo, and I told them I would be thrilled — but added that I would make them dress warmly." ​-Katie Couric

Click HERE to read the full story!



On Thursday, February 11, 2016, the WNY Chapter will hold its 15th Annual Awards and Board Installation Dinner.  Awards will be given for the Largest Broker Assisted Sale, Largest Lease and Most Transactions.  These will be announced at the dinner. Two individuals are also recognized each year for their contributions to the WNY Commercial Real Estate Market.  The WNY Chapter will honor George Hamberger, Realty USA, with the Stewart C. Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award and John Capellino, VP of the Erie County IDA, with the Meritorious Service Award. 

Award recipients from previous years:

Year Largest Sales Transaction Largest Lease Transaction Lifetime Achievement Meritorious Service
2002 Nicholas J. Malagisi, SIOR Charles ‘Sam’ Gurney, SIOR Stuart Hunt Paul Leone

Gerald Kelly

Clark Thrasher CID Founders John Sheffer

Gary and Chris Greco

Tom Keller Max Becker, SIOR James Allen

Larry Brassel, CCIM

Larry Brassel, CCIM Howard Saperston, SIOR Jim Fink

Dorothy Stahlnecker

Larry Brassel, CCIM Larry Brassel, CCIM Anthony Masiello

Robert Starzynski/Shana Stegner/George Hamberger

Jeffrey LiPuma, CCIM, SIOR Arthur Judelsohn and 
Sheldon Berlow
Thomas Kucharski
2008 Alan Hastings Jeffrey LiPuma, CCIM, SIOR

Victor Peterson

Marsha Henderson
2009 Steve Blake, CCIM Joe Deck Merle Whitehead, III Carl Calabrese
2010 Steve Blake, CCIM Bob Schell Cash Cunningham Tom Reynolds
2011 Jeff LiPuma, CCIM, SIOR Bob Schell Peter Hunt Peter Cammarata
2012 Chris Greco Joe Leber Dorothy Stahlnecker Matthew K. Enstice
Patrick J. Whalen
2013 Robert Starzynski Dave Schiller Dennis Greco Bob Shibley

Dennis Greco   Chris Greco           John Fletcher

Steve Blake David Rumsey Thomas Cusak
2015 2-11-16


Jeffrey LiPuma

Michael Schmand

"Identifying downtown Buffalo development opportunities is even easier with the release of a new guide that provides investors with a profile of downtown's greatest assets and a listing of available tools and incentives. The guide also identifies over 20 unique parcels ready for redevelopment. Sponsored by National Grid, the guide is the result of a collaborative partnership between Mayor Byron W. Brown, Chairman of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, CBRE Buffalo, and Buffalo Place." CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE