William Frederick Caldwell, who was responsible for major Buffalo-area land developments over a long career, died Thursday in Sunset House Nursing Home in Toledo, Ohio. He was 85.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Caldwell graduated from Hutchinson-Central Technical High School. He attended St. Lawrence, Harvard and Columbia universities before entering the Navy in 1943.
He graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University with a degree in forestry in 1948 and continued to serve as a captain in the Naval Reserve for nearly two decades.
Joining the family business, T. Sullivan Lumber Co. in Buffalo, Mr. Caldwell eventually became vice president and sales manager and later was an officer and director.
He founded a residential land development company, William F. Caldwell and Associates, in 1963 in Williamsville. This later expanded into real estate to include apartments, condominiums, planned unit developments and multi-use commercial real complexes.
His local developments included Ransom Oaks and Georgetown Square Shopping Center in Amherst, Rainbow Centre in Niagara Falls and the Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo.
Mr. Caldwell additionally founded Caldwell American Investments, Caldwell Development Corporation and Caldwell Equity Corporation, which was based in Troy, Mich. He developed projects in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Washington, D.C.
He was a past president of the Buffalo Home Show Corp. and Urban Land Institute, a past vice president of the Buffalo Lumber Exchange and the New York State Home Builders Association, and served as a director and officer of the Niagara Frontier Builders Association.
Professional Builder magazine recognized Mr. Caldwell as a "Building Giant" for 16 consecutive years and he received several architectural design awards from organizations throughout New York and Michigan.
Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Juanita Hall; two daughters, Susan and Sandra Caldwell; a son, Steven; three stepdaughters, Carol Dills, Janet Holt and Jennifer Jacoby; and a stepson, William LaJeunesse.
Memorial services are private.