Coates steps up as president, COO of Carpionato Group

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Alfred Carpionato, who built a $1 billion empire of retail shopping centers, hotels, apartment complexes and restaurants, will be doing more of what he enjoys doing most – says the man who succeeds him as president and chief operating officer of the Carpionato Group.

“He has worked hard his whole life,” Kelly MacArthur Coates said of Carpionato. “And he’s going to continue to work, doing more of what he likes.” Coates described that as setting the vision for the company, buying properties and putting deals together.

Last week, the company announced a reorganization of the executive branch with Coates, who was serving as Senior Vice President, Commercial Development, Finance and Leasing, taking on the role Carpionato had filled. Carpionato is chairman and chief executive officer. Carpionato’s older son, Domenic, will become a senior vice president of Carpionato Group.

“Kelly Coates has worked alongside me for decades during a period of tremendous growth and profitability,” Carpionato said in a release. “I would like to thank him for his numerous contributions and unwavering commitment during his 30 years of service with our company. I have worked closely with Kelly for many years and am confident that he, along with my son Domenic and the other members of our executive team, will uphold our company’s core values and lead Carpionato Group to continued success in the years to come. They have my full confidence.”

Carpionato Group was most recently in the news with the announcement it was working on a deal to acquire all of the Benny’s locations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Locally, Carpionato owns and operates the Crowne Plaza hotel and the Holiday Inn Express, both in Warwick, as well as the Chapel View development in Cranston. According to the company website, the company owns 10 affordable housing complexes, five office complexes and 14 retail centers. Coates said about 50 percent of the company’s assets are located in Rhode Island with the remaining 50 percent split between the neighboring states of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

More developments are on the drawing boards. Without disclosing details, Coates said Carpionato is working on developments that will be announced in Warwick, Cranston and Johnston. He also said the company is looking to develop public/private partnerships, especially in Connecticut where, he said, because of budget problems the company is looking to take on projects that have been sidelined.

“The company will continue to aggressively expand its portfolio,” said Coates.

“I am surrounded by a strong team of professionals, and we will continue to transfer Mr. Carpionato’s visions into action and thereby help our many employees as they progress in their careers,” said Coates.

A Warwick resident, Coates and his family moved to Rhode Island about 30 years ago after completing graduate school at Columbia University in New York. He has become the face of the company, appearing before zoning boards and city and town councils as the Carpionato Group seeks local approval of its developments. As a practice, Coates seeks to address neighborhood concerns and questions in informational neighborhood meetings prior to public hearings. It has defused what could otherwise become divisive meetings and gained him the respect of elected officials concerned for their constituents.

Asked whether he sees the company changing with Carpionato focusing more on the big picture, Coates replied, “in general, it’s more of the same.”

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