Friends and family remember developer Ciminelli

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Frank Ciminelli was a pillar in the Buffalo community. A self-made businessman, who had his roots on Buffalo’s east side. He founded Ciminelli construction and development companies.

“He was my father, my mentor, my boss and my critic,” said Ciminelli ‘s son, Paul Ciminelli.

He was honored as “Man of the Year” by the Hope for Tomorrow foundation, but that’s just one of numerous accolades for giving back to our town.

News 4 obtained an autographed copy of his biography “A Concrete Foundation.”  At Centerpoint in the heart of Williamsville, a massive commercial real estate park that was the brainchild of Frank Ciminelli.

It’s common to see his sign on many construction sites, including the building going up on the buffalo medical corridor. He was also close friends with the late Congressman Jack Kemp.

His sons and grandson, Frank Ciminelli II run the construction empire now. His son Paul remembered his dad as a hard-working man.

“He really epitomized the family business. His family to him was more of an extended family of the employees, his customers. It wasn’t just the immediate family and he really walked the talk,” said Paul Ciminelli.

His grandson, Frank fondly recalled the lessons of life his grandfather taught him through the years.

“Everything we do as a company, everything we do as a family is his legacy. His legacy lives on, and whether the employees on the construction side know it or not his influence is there,” said Frank Ciminelli II.

Besides being the largest commercial developer in western New York, Frank Ciminelli gave back so much to scores of civic organizations, with little fanfare.

“My father was humble in that regard. I’d like him to be recognized for that. I could tell you stories of things that he did and gave away a lot of money,” said Paul Ciminelli

He leaves behind his wife Rosalie, six children and several grandchildren.

“There’s a part of me that believes that he decided to pass now because family was here for the holidays. Holidays are all about family. He really enjoyed that. I think he decided that he fought long enough,” said Paul Ciminelli.

Frank Ciminelli is gone at the age of 80 but his legacy will live on forever in the Buffalo community.

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