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Former NFL Player Invests In Commercial Real Estate and Becomes One of a Few Black Marriott Franchise Owners

Former NFL defensive back Chinedum Ndukwe always knew he needed to prepare for life after professional football. Today, he runs a thriving commercial real estate company based out of Cincinnati. 

Ndukwe played for five NFL seasons, four for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2007 to 2010 and then for the Oakland Raiders for the 2011 campaign. In 2008 he launched Kingsley Consulting, a real estate development firm. Initially, the company began purchasing multi-family homes. Today, Kingsley Consulting has invested in the hotel industry by owning a Marriott.

Introduction to Real Estate 

Ndukwe, who was born to Nigerian parents, grew up in Ohio. Growing up, he watched his parents, an engineer and registered nurse dabble in real estate.  

“I was exposed at a very early age to the aspect of investing in real estate,” Ndukwe told The Commercial Observer. “A typical day for them [my parents] was to work 9 to 5, come home, spend some time with the kids and then we’d view properties.” 

Once Ndukwe began playing professional football, he realized how lucrative real estate —especially commercial — could be as an investment. In 2008, he began investing in single family and multifamily units. As he continued to research opportunities, Ndukwe sought out relationships with commercial real estate investors and developers. 

“I learned early on is that some of the very successful entrepreneurs in this country had a really solid portfolio of real estate,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to have a passion for real estate investing and real estate developing.” 

Ndukwe’s Investment Portfolio; Need For Diversity In Commercial Real Estate 

Today, Ndukwe still owns some of his initial investments — especially those close to the University of Cincinnati’s campus. However, the company’s focus is on providing affordable housing in multifamily properties. The company recently secured its second Low Income Housing Tax Credit deal allowing them to build 50 senior affordable housing units. 

In addition, Kingsley Consulting owns several limited-service hotels including a Marriott franchise at the University of Cincinnati’s campus and a dual-branded Comfort Suites and MainStay hotel. 

As one of a handful of African-American Marriott franchise owners, Ndukwe understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in the commercial real estate industry. 

“I think that with diversity and inclusion, especially in commercial real estate, you have to lead from the front. So as a developer, on the projects that we build from the ground up especially, I think that’s a competitive advantage for us to require diversity and inclusion not only just on the ownership piece of it, but also on the subcontract and contracts and the general contractors that we use,” Ndukwe said. “We really need to enforce the fact that diversity and inclusion is important. And you see a lot more on the subcontractor front, but there needs to be more on the ownership of these buildings.” 

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