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Who was Bernard Mendik?

Bernard Mendik was the longest serving chairman in REBNY's history, serving from 1992 until he died in 2001.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1928, Mendik immigrated to New York with his family as an infant.

He acquired his first piece of city real estate--a loft building on East 23rd street--in 1958. In subsequent years, he built one of the city's more impressive real estate empires.

He actively pursued legislation to allow real estate investment trusts to become legal in New York and eventually rolled out his own REIT, folding Mendik & Co. into Vornado Realty Trust. He remained a large stockholder but, in 1998, left to found BHM Co. as his new investment vehicle.

Mendik worked tirelessly to improve relations with City Hall and become a friend of Mayor Rudy Giuliani who chose him as the 1996 recipient of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Award. Mendik was the mayor's appointee to the Business Advisory Council and Commission of Youth Empowerment Services. He was a 1993 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and Trustee of New York Law School.

As chairman of REBNY, Mendik led the charge against a zoning initiative meant to restrict the height of skyscrapers. He died in 2001.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 17, 2007
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