Ciminelli firms will help redevelop Connecticut transit hub - The Buffalo News

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Ciminelli firms will help redevelop Connecticut transit hub

Ciminelli Real Estate Corp., LPCiminelli and Allpro Parking say they are part of a larger development group that won a $550 million contract to redevelop the rail and bus public transit hub in Stamford, Conn., into a commercial, residential and retail complex.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation in July named Connecticut-based Stamford Manhattan Development Ventures as the preferred developers for the Stamford Transportation Center, a major transit-oriented project to transform the existing facility. The winning venture is led by Stamford-based JHM Group of Companies, but the three related Buffalo companies said this month that they are playing key roles in the project as well.

Ciminelli Real Estate, owned by developer Paul Ciminelli, will serve as co-developer and manager of the property after the project is completed. LPCiminelli, owned by Louis Ciminelli, will serve as construction manager. Allpro, a subsidiary of Ciminelli Real Estate, will consult on the project during the design phase and will oversee all parking functions when it’s done.

Ciminelli Real Estate Executive Vice President Dennis Penman is a former partner and longtime friend of JHM Group owner John McClutchy.

“He saw the combined expertise of us as the developer, my brother as the general contractor and Allpro for parking, so we went in as a package,” said Paul Ciminelli, president and CEO of Ciminelli Real Estate.

Through its real estate services division, Ciminelli Real Estate provides property management and leasing services to more than 350 clients and has offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Connecticut, including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Tampa and New Haven, Conn.

But aside from individual projects such as one in Ithaca with Cornell University, it has largely stayed “closer to home” for development work, Paul Ciminelli said.

What made this project different, he said, was Penman’s relationship with McClutchy. “The reason we did this is we have a strategic partner with the local developer. Our areas of expertise really complemented him,” he said. “If we didn’t have a local partner, we probably would not have chased this deal.”

The state of Connecticut will now negotiate a contract with Stamford Manhattan on a formal plan of design and construction, which is expected to be signed this fall, according to a news release. Plans call for about 600,000 square feet of commercial office space, 60,000 square feet of street-level retail space, a 150-room hotel and 150 apartments, for about 1 million square feet in all. Nearly half of all the commuter parking spaces would be placed in new garages to the east and west of the towering station complex.

“What we’re creating is a station district, where it would be 24/7, a real synergistic environment of live, work and play,” Ciminelli said.

The project will be built on the site of an old parking garage. Construction would start in the spring of 2014, with the parking finished in three years and the rest completed in phases.

“This project is representative of the type of strategic partnering we have envisioned as key to our long-term growth, which included establishing our tri-state area office last year,” Louis Ciminelli, chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, said in a news release.

The project will include $35 million in state bonds for the parking facilities, but the joint venture will provide the rest of the debt and equity financing.

“We look forward to offering our boutique-style professional parking services in the Stamford community,” Allpro President Richard A. Serra said in the release, adding that the company is eager to enter the Nutmeg State. “Our team members have years of experience in the parking industry.”


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