Gerald Morganstern, prominent New York commercial real estate attorney and industry leader, died Tuesday, January 29, at his home in Hewlett Harbor, N.Y. He was 76 years old.
Since 2014, Morganstern had been a partner at the New York law firm Goetz Fitzpatrick LLP, where he handled commercial and retail leasing of office, showroom, industrial and shopping centers and represented clients in the purchase, finance and sale of real estate. He also administered numerous estates and trusts.
“Jerry had a great influence on our real estate practice and was widely respected in our firm and the industry,” said Aaron Boyajian, managing partner of Goetz Fitzpatrick, which has four offices in the New York-metro area.
In addition to practicing real estate law, Morganstern was completing his 10th year as president of B’nai B’rith Real Estate, a popular monthly luncheon forum at The Cornell Club featuring key real estate players as speakers and topical programs on the latest trends and tools in the industry.
Morganstern began his career as specialist in real estate transactional law in 1967 at the law firm of Hofheimer Gartlir & Gross, rising to managing partner by 2000. He joined Goetz Fitzpatrick when Hofheimer Gartlir ended its practice in 2014.
Morganstern also served as an arbitrator in commercial real estate broker disputes for the Real Estate Board of New York and was counsel to, director and president of The Bridge Inc., an organization providing social services and housing in Manhattan for the chronically mentally ill.
At the time of his death, Morganstern was chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals for the Village of Hewlett Harbor, where he served as mayor from 1990 to 2000 and as police commissioner, trustee and deputy mayor. He had also served as chairperson of the Long Range Planning Committee of the Hewlett-Woodmere School District on Long Island.
Born in the Bronx, NY, Morganstern earned a B.S. at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and LLB at Columbia University. He is survived by his wife Karen, sons Jeffrey and Bradley, four grandchildren, and his brother, Andrew.