Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Local businesses react to death of local business man

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Albany/HV: Local businesses react to death of local business man
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Walter Uccellini's impact on the Capital Region has been far reaching. Those who knew him say he was much more than just a good businessman. Our Innae Park joined us from one of his development sites with more on how community leaders are reacting to the news of his death.

TROY, N.Y. – All those who knew Walter Uccellini could not stop praising his works.

Former Troy Mayor and current Rensselaer County legislator Harry Tutunjian said, “He was a great businessman. He had a heart for this city.”

Current Mayor Lou Rosamilia described him as “a visionary developer.”

Denise Murphy McGraw, the chairwoman of the Schenectady County Community College Board of Trustees, said of Uccellini, “His legacy is vast, it’s wide.”

And a man who only met him fairly recently because he would be the owner of a vacant storefront, Paesan's Pizza Co-Owner Lorenzo Scavio said, “That was the first time I met him and I was so impressed.”

The impact Uccellini had on the Capital Region will clearly, never be forgotten. The founder, Principal Owner, CEO and President of the United Group, was involved in major projects across the state and in Florida.

Among the more recent: A housing complex at Schenectady County Community College.

“It’s something we’ve talked about for more than a decade and simply stated, it wouldn’t have happened without him,” said Murphy McGraw. “Students are moving in Labor Day. With every box that’s moved in, we will think of Mr. Uccellini.”

Uccellini was also an RPI graduate and his goal to leave a legacy in the city where he learned his trade was achieved with City Station. The new area of homes, shops and green space has already become a source of pride for those who live in Troy.

“A lot of people have ideas, but Walter turned those ideas into reality,” said Tutunjian. “For the betterment of the City of Troy and his business.”

And Uccellini did so in a way that captured the hearts of those who worked alongside him.

“He had an infectious laugh, I remember,” said Tutunjian. “He brought life to all the meetings we had.”

Murphy McGraw said, “He made everyone around him feel comfortable, feel valued.”

Scavio laughed as he recounted their first and most poignant meeting.

“We were in a room with about ten people, my party and his party going back and forth, trying to finalize everything. He turns around and goes, ‘Everyone out!’ He says, ‘Lorenzo, you and me are going to do this, man-to-man.’ Five minutes later we're done, we shook hands and everything was done.”

The company has also been involved in student housing in Oswego, Canandaigua and Brockport and senior living in Utica, Canton and Middletown.

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