Next week at REBNY’s 124th annual banquet, it will be a tremendous honor to present Vornado Realty Trust Vice Chairman David R. Greenbaum with The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award, recognizing his outstanding professional achievements and leadership in our industry.
After spending his early career as a tax attorney at Weil Gotshal & Manges, David joined The Mendik Company in 1982 and has been a leader in New York City real estate ever since. David credits much of his success to being able to work side-by-side with two of the greatest minds in real estate – first with Bernard Mendik and then with Steven Roth as a result of a merger with Vornado Realty Trust. During his more than two decades at Vornado, David has been instrumental in developing and managing what is now one of New York City’s largest and most sustainable portfolios of Class A properties.
David has produced a long list of impressive accomplishments along the way. His first major development project at Vornado was 731 Lexington Avenue, known as the Bloomberg Tower. That building, which was completed more than 15 years ago, is still as cutting edge today as any you will find in New York. He also led the recent reinvention of the 3.7 million s/f theMART as a tech hub in River North in Chicago.
And the exciting work has continued with the steps that Vornado is currently taking to transform the PENN District at the epicenter of the ‘new’ New York.
Vornado is investing in excess of $2 billion to modernize and re-imagine its PENN office holdings while also working with the City and State to enhance the commuter experience and surrounding streetscape. By the end of 2020 at the Farley Building, Vornado will be delivering a majestic new train hall to serve both Amtrak and LIRR along with 740,000 s/f of cutting-edge, creative new office space and 130,000 s/f of curated retail space. A year later, by the end of 2021, Vornado will complete the redevelopment of the 2.8 million s/f PENN1, and by the end of 2022, will deliver a totally transformed and expanded 1.8 million s/f PENN2 redevelopment. At the same time, David and his team are working with EDC and the MTA to create an inviting new entrance to Penn Station in Plaza 33 as well as a far more spacious and inviting LIRR concourse.
In further recognition of Manhattan’s commercial shift to the west and south, David helped spearhead the firm’s development of a trio of new boutique office buildings in West Chelsea and the Meatpacking districts. Each of the properties, the recently-completed 61 Ninth Avenue and 512 West 22nd Street as well as the future 260 Eleventh Avenue, is designed to produce the most modern workplaces and feature distinctive architecture that is authentic to the neighborhoods in which they are located, with abundant outdoor green spaces.
Thanks in part to David’s leadership, Vornado has also earned a reputation across the industry as a pioneer in sustainability and as a go-to landlord for such titans of the 21st century economy as Facebook, Google and Amazon.
David is a first generation American whose parents escaped Germany in 1939 just as World War II was breaking out, and much of his philanthropic activity has been shaped by his family’s heritage. He and his wife are providing generous support for a new Center for Jewish Life at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Rochester. He and his wife are also helping fund an AgriFood Tech campus on the northern border of Israel and have established a Visiting Professorship to bring a legal scholar from Israel each year to lecture at the University of Chicago, where he graduated from law school.
David also gives back to New York City and the real estate industry through his long-time voluntary leadership roles at REBNY, the 34th Street Partnership, the Times Square Alliance, the Grand Central Partnership and the Citizens Budget Commission.
We are proud to have David as part of our REBNY community, and we look forward to honoring him for his stellar achievements.