LIZIO, Carl R.E. Developer For more than 40 years, South End real estate developer Carl Lizio shaped the neighborhood he loved.
A native of Dorchester, Mr Lizio came to the South End in the 1970s when the wrecking ball of urban renewal was still swinging mightily. He bought his first building with his brother Stephen in 1972 and went on to renovate some 60 buildings, most vacant and in danger of demolition. He was among the first to convert the neighborhood's townhouses to condos, which, he said, gave people of moderate income an opportunity for home ownership.
Mr. Lizio died March 25 at the age of 76 of complications from leukemia. Despite all the work he did in and for the neighborhood "he didn't put his name on anything," said his son, Warren Lizio. Instead, he made his imprint with his deeds, believing in "doing well while doing good." He lifted spirits wherever he went, talking to neighbors, contractors, and delivery people on the streets around Union Park, where he lived and raised a family with Sheila Grove, his wife of 42 years.
As a developer, he strove to make his buildings long lasting and respectful of their history. While his first students were the budding contractors he brought onto his jobs, he also taught real estate development at the Boston Architectural Center and Boston Center for Adult Education.
In 1995, he founded ReTec America Foundation Inc., which provided donated computers to Boston youth centers. ReTec's partnership with Area D Police Community Services Division won a Better Government Award from the Pioneer Institute in 1996. Mr. Lizio was president of the Newmarket Business Association from 2000 to 2004. There, he strengthened ties with local government and the Mason Elementary School in Roxbury where his initiative led to the installation of a state-of-the-art technology center.
Carl was a wealth of knowledge about building, real estate development, carpentry, and Boston history. If there was a problem to be solved, Carl would always show up with the perfect tool or advice to solve it. He was an accomplished motorcycle rider, once riding with friends to Costa Rica. An enthusiastic life-long learner and hobbyist, Carl, in recent years, took up woodworking, initially making Victorian mirrors and, later, handcrafted furniture. He also made stained glass windows.
"He shared himself with others," said his son, "and we are all better for it."
In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by his daughter-in-law, Andrea (Dixon), and grandsons, Conrad and Heath, all of Dorchester; daughter Deirdre and her fiance Vladimir Kostadinov of London; brother Stephen Lizio and his partner David Scibilia of South Berwick, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, please follow Carl's example and give an extra tip to someone for a job well done or send a contribution to the youth organization Vibrant Boston, P.O. Box 230405, Boston, MA 02116.