Robert F. Weinberg, co-founder of the iconic Westchester and Fairfield real estate developer Robert Martin Co., died of natural causes at his home in Manhattan yesterday. He was 90 years old.
In 1957, Weinberg and Martin Berger founded the company, which grew to develop and manage more than 6 million square feet of office and industrial complexes. Berger died in 2011.
Weinberg remained active in the company in his later years, frequently spending time at its 100 Clearbrook Road headquarters in Elmsford with company CEO Timothy M. Jones and Managing Director Greg Berger.
Robert Martin Co. initially built five single-family homes in Ardsley and expanded with larger single-family home developments in Hartsdale, Yorktown, White Plains and other communities.
In the late 1960s, they acquired a large tract of land on Route 9A in Greenburgh. Weinberg and Berger decided to build an office-warehouse park, the first of its kind in Westchester County. In addition to creating a portfolio of office and industrial parks along with retail centers, they also built more than 3,000 residential units.
The company was particularly active in the cities of White Plains and Yonkers; the towns of Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant; and the villages of Tarrytown, Elmsford and Port Chester. Their Westchester Financial Center at the gateway to downtown White Plains was considered to have been instrumental to the city’s revitalization through urban renewal. Its work there included the development of 16 unique projects.
Today, the company’s diverse portfolio includes more than 6 million square feet of multifamily, office, retail and industrial properties as well as over 200 acres of developable land in Westchester, Connecticut and Florida.
Earlier this year, the company completed the acquisition of a 3.1 million-square-foot office/flex portfolio, consisting mostly of properties originally developed by Robert Martin. The $487.5 million purchase from Mack-Cali Realty Corp. was the largest commercial real estate transaction in Westchester County history.
Weinberg was born in Manhattan on Sept. 20, 1928, to his mother Ray Greenbaum and father Alexander Weinberg. He grew up in New York City, although he and his parents spent time in Elmsford when he was recovering from scarlet fever as a young boy.
Weinberg earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from New York University, a master’s in building engineering and construction from M.I.T. and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Weinberg formed and chaired for more than 40 years the Outreach Committee on Orderly Growth in Westchester. He served as a director of the Mack-Cali Real Estate Investment Trust; chairman of the Westchester Public Issues Institute; director of the Westchester County Association; president of the Builders Institute of Westchester & Putnam Counties; director of the publicly traded Sequa Corp.; commissioner of the Westchester County Utility Agency; member of the Westchester County Advisory Committee on Housing Policy; and chairman of the UJA/Federation, Westchester Real Estate & Builder’s Division.
Weinberg also served other organizations, including: trustee of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York; chairman of the Associated YM-YWHA’s of Greater New York; director of the City & Suburban Financial Corporation; board member of SUNY Purchase; member of the Design Task Force for the TZB/Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, and co-founder of City and Suburban Savings Bank.
Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, said, “I was so honored to not only have a professional relationship with Bob, but to call him my personal friend. It was my privilege to be part of his EXPO group, which explored so many issues affecting positive growth in Westchester. Throughout these years, I learned so much from him, admired his intellect and his vision, and became infused with his sincere passion for Westchester”
Weinberg maintained homes in White Plains, Manhattan and Palm Beach. He was a longtime member of the Metropolis Country Club in Greenburgh and served on its board of directors, and also was a member of the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, the Harmonie Club and the Doubles Club in Manhattan, and the Palm Beach Country Club in Florida.
Weinberg was predeceased by his parents, his wife of 53 years, Marilyn, in 2012, and his daughter, Eileen W. Toulouse, in 2016. He is survived by his grandchildren Stacy Lynn Reilly and her husband Sam, and Scott Alexander Hesse and his wife, Whitney, and his great grandchildren Jake Ethan Reilly, Cameron Michael Reilly and William Robert Hesse.
A memorial service will be held Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Ave. in Manhattan at 81st Street. The family will be sitting Shiva at the Metropolis Club in Greenburgh from 3:00 til 7:00 on Friday and at the Harmonie Club in New York City from 1:00 until 5:00 on both Saturday and Sunday.
The family suggested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, or the Ranachqua Foundation, which supports Boy Scouts’ activities and college scholarships, in the Bronx.