Robert F. Weinberg, a developer who over six decades transformed the landscape and economy of Westchester County as co-founder of the Robert Martin Company, died of natural causes at his home in Manhattan on Sept. 3, 2019. He was 90.
Working side-by-side with his life-time business partner, the late Martin S. Berger, Weinberg and the Robert Martin Company were at the forefront of innovation and change in the real estate industry.
Most notably, the company pioneered the development of more than six million square feet of office and industrial parks across Westchester and Fairfield counties, as well as over 3,000 apartments, condominiums and single-family homes throughout Westchester.
Combining their first names, Weinberg and Berger, who died in 2011, founded the Robert Martin Company in 1957. They began by building five single-family homes in Ardsley. They quickly expanded, building larger single-family home developments.
In the late 1960s, they took a step that was to change the course of their business and in real ways, even the trajectory of economic development in Westchester.
Acquiring 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. Today, the company’s diverse portfolio includes over six million square feet of multi-family, office, retail and industrial properties as well as over 200 acres of developable land in Westchester, Connecticut and Florida.
Earlier this year, the company, led today by Tim Jones and Greg Berger, 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 Corporation 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 of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from New York University, a Masters of Science in Building Engineering & Construction from M.I.T. and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Weinberg was particularly fond of a group he formed and chaired for more than 40 years, the Outreach Committee on Orderly Growth in Westchester. The group, which grew to include more than 40 members, meets for lunch seven times a year with Weinberg personally setting the agenda for “off-the-record” discussions of a wide range of issues pertinent to Westchester’s future including transportation, housing, planning and zoning.
Mr. 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 was held September 6. Further arrangements are being made for the family to receive friends in both Westchester and New York City.
The family suggest, in lieu of flowers, that memorials be made in his memory to the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, or the Ranachqua Foundation, which supports Boy Scouts activities and scholarships.