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Women-owned boutique real estate brokerage kicks off to help small biz, nonprofits

A pair of entrepreneurial women with already-busy real estate and business development careers are launching a new boutique real estate brokerage firm, aimed at narrow niches of small clients and walkable neighborhoods.

Brokers Erin Carmina and Maggie Hamilton Winship have already been operating Build Up Buffalo for about 10 months via word-of-mouth, but are now kicking off their new firm for the broader market.

The women-owned business will specialize in helping small businesses, nonprofits and startups, as well as helping the owners of unique properties in local, walkable neighborhoods. The firm will also offer buyer and seller representation for commercial and investment sales, as well as real estate development consulting.

“In a tertiary market, you rarely see truly boutique firms. Specializing is a luxury," said Winship, a former real estate agent at CBRE-Buffalo and then real estate development manager at Cedarland Development. "Build Up Buffalo is a passion project. We are here to create vibrant spaces by playing matchmaker for nonprofits and up-and-coming businesses who don’t know how to navigate the world of commercial real estate.”

Winship is now director of strategic planning for the Town of Amherst and director of community development for the Village of Williamsville. Carmina, daughter of architect Steven Carmina of Carmina Wood Morris PC, has been development director for the Massachusetts Avenue Project since last June, after spending three years as marketing coordinator and then marketing manager for Buffalo Place, the nonprofit downtown business improvement district that oversees Main Street and surrounding streets south of the medical campus.

“The future of retail is in our urban, walkable neighborhoods," Carmina said. "Creating the ideal situation for businesses and property owners, and ensuring long lasting relationships, is what Build Up Buffalo is all about.”

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