Carpionato, Real Estate Developer, Dies at 75 After Long Illness

Saturday, August 25, 2018


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Carpionato passes awat at age 75.

One of Rhode Island's most influential developers, Alfred Carpionato, died Saturday at the age of 75.

The Carpionato Group which he headed confirmed his death.  

He was responsible for building Chapel View in Cranston and the Crowne Plaza in Warwick.

Carpionato led the third generation property development company for more than six decades. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and loved ones. He was 75 years old.

He is survived by his wife Sheryl (Costantino) Carpionato who has been by his side for the past 30 years, his sisters Iliana Luchka and Attilia Renzi and his children Domenic and Louis Carpionato. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island and was the son of the late Louis and Anna Carpionato.

According to the company, Carpionato began his career working for his father’s residential construction business as a teenager. He later gained invaluable experience traveling and working in Boston, Florida and California with some of the top developers of that era. He returned to Rhode Island to take a position with the family business. At the age of 15 he bought his first building in the Smith Hill neighborhood of Providence and renovated the units into apartments. By the time he was 21 he had begun transitioning the company into a highly successful commercial real estate firm.

“Mr. Carpionato was a self-made man who truly lived the American Dream. He took great pride in his family, his work and he always believed in the potential of the people who lived and worked in Rhode Island,” said Kelly MacArthur Coates, president and COO of the Carpionato Group. “While never seeking the spotlight, he never wavered in his commitment to investing in New England. He developed destinations that truly enhanced communities and was a catalyst for meaningful economic development and job creation. He was also a quiet philanthropist whose generosity knew no bounds.”

Carpionato was known in the industry for two characteristics -- vision and quality. Those attributes might be best demonstrated at Chapel View -- once old state property. He transformed it into one ot the regions best retail and residential properties.

The company said, "Carpionato created a true legacy with the Carpionato Group, which today has more than 6 million square feet of property within its portfolio encompassing Class A retail, office, residential and hospitality space."

The Carpionato Group has 500 employees working on $1.5 billion in development projects.

“I have known Fred Carpionato for close to fifty years. Fred was one of the best developers and real estate minds our state has ever seen, and his projects transformed Rhode Island. Fred changed the face of Chapel View and totally transformed the old Sockanosset School for Boys into a beautiful center for shopping, offices, and restaurants. He had many accomplishments throughout his career, and bringing iconic properties like the Crowne Plaza to Warwick showcased his determination to always create something inspiring.  Fred was a tireless worker who was making aggressive acquisitions up until the last few months of his life, purchasing the Newport Grand Casino and the entire chain of Benny’s stores. Losing him is a great loss for our state and our real estate community. My thoughts and prayers are with Fred and his family,” said former Providence Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, Jr.  

Carpionato also had the foresight to plan for his own transition to ensure his legacy continued, that his investments were well managed and his employees were protected. In this effort, Carpionato created a private trust led by a four-member board of trustees that would guide the company upon his death, according to the company.

The four trustees selected by Mr. Carpionato include the president of the company, Kelly Coates; company controller, Gary Famiglietti  - both of whom have worked with the company for over 30 years - Mr. Carpionato’s wife, Sheryl, who is a vice president of the company; and Angelo Marocco, who has served as Mr. Carpionato’s personal attorney for more than 40 years.  Mr. Coates will continue to lead the day-to-day operations as president and chief operating officer of the company.

“Mr. Carpionato planned for this day and he established management structures that have set the company on a path of continued success and growth. For over three decades, many of us on the executive team were blessed to have the opportunity to work with Mr. Carpionato and help make his vision become a reality. We have a strong team at the Carpionato Group that includes his son Domenic. Together, with the benefit of so many years of Mr. Carpionato’s counsel and guidance, the executive team will continue to ensure his legacy is maintained and his vision achieved,” added Coates.

A civic-minded leader in his community, he has served on the board of Rhode Island Hospital and was a member of the Rhode Island Commodores. He was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2017 and supported the restoration of the Cliff Walk in Newport.

“Anyone who knew Fred came away enriched by the encounter. His legacy and life are a testament to an indefatigable spirit powered by ingenious imagination and enormous creativity and vision. He will be missed immensely but not forgotten,” said Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Alex and Ani.

 At Mr. Carpionato’s request, his service and burial will be private. 


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