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Obituary: Anthony A. Albanese

Anthony A. Albanese, the respected real estate developer who co-founded the Albanese Organization and was its chairman emeritus, passed away on Feb. 14, 2012 at the age of 82.

Recognized for his vision, commitment and integrity, Mr. Albanese always viewed real estate development as a vehicle for improving the communities in which the firm worked. He summarized this approach when asked about his work, saying, “In all our projects we want the building to be a positive addition to the community, strengthening the fabric of the neighborhood.”

The son of Italian immigrants, Mr. Albanese and his four siblings were raised by his widowed mother in the South Ozone Park area of Queens, where his passion for real estate development began and continued for the next six decades. With his brother Vincent, Mr. Albanese, at the age of 19, borrowed $1,000 to buy his first vacant parcel of land down the street from where he grew up in South Ozone Park, Queens. Together they started building one house, then two homes in Jamaica, Queens Village and Bellerose, and then their first six-story apartment building in Jamaica Estates. In 1958, their younger brother, Joseph, joined with Vincent to form Albanese & Albanese, which has ever since represented the firm in its various real estate development activities. Their sister, Mary Matthews, also added her expertise as an interior designer to many of her brothers’ projects.

The scope and breadth of the projects Mr. Albanese undertook with his brothers continued to expand, including office buildings that strengthened the economic and social fabric of Garden City where they established the firm’s headquarters in the 1970s. It was then that the firm also entered the Manhattan real estate market. In their first Manhattan project Anthony and Vincent acquired and assembled 12 underutilized commercial and residential properties on the eastside near the United Nations and developed the 52-story pyramid-topped condominium known as 100 United Nations Plaza.

As the new century began, this focus on quality design and enhanced residential environments led the firm to become pioneers in the area of sustainable development. Encouraged by Mr. Albanese, his son Russell, and Vincent’s son Christopher, successfully spearheaded the firm’s effort to become the developer of the first high rise residential building in the country to be built in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Environmental Design guidelines. The building was under construction within the shadow of the World Trade Center in Battery Park City on the day of the September 11 attacks. In the aftermath when the prospects of the project were in doubt, Mr. Albanese led the firm in its commitment to resume and complete the building named The Solaire, which became the first new building completed downtown after September 11th. The Solaire also became the first of three internationally recognized sustainable buildings that the Albanese Organization completed in Battery Park City. Currently, the firm is developing properties in the West Chelsea and Times Square areas of Manhattan and in the fall of 2011 was designated by the Town of Babylon as master developer of a major community revitalization project in Wyandanch.

Improving the communities in which he worked, lived and developed came instinctively to Mr. Albanese, and that desire to improve his part of the world extended beyond his real estate activities. Mr. Albanese served on the board of trustees of St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn for 20 years. During his tenure on the Board, his advice and expertise as a real estate developer were instrumental in the hospital’s expansion of its facilities, as well as in the construction of the patient care and surgical pavilion. Prior to moving to Garden City, Mr. Albanese was a resident of the Village of Plandome Manor, where he served as a Village Trustee for 18 years, between 1969 and 1987. He was also an active supporter of many civic and charitable organizations in the New York metropolitan area.

Always characterizing himself as a “team leader” rather than a “boss” he led by example. Mr. Albanese was proud of and never forgot his origins. It was part of his leadership style. Fundamentally, Anthony Albanese was a developer of people, not just buildings. Throughout his life he continued to inspire, motivate, and empower his associates and employees, many of whom have been with the firm for decades, all of whom mourn his passing.

Mr. Albanese is survived by his wife of 62 years, Annette; their children, Deborah Klein, Toni Albanese, Russell Albanese and Elena D’Agostino; thirteen grandchildren; one great-grandchild; his brothers, Vincent M. Albanese and Joseph R. Albanese; and his sister Mary Matthews.

Donations in his memory may be made to The American Heart Association, 125 E. Bethpage Rd., Plainview, NY 11803.

News

Resurrection Church raises money

with Xmas-themed event

On Saturday, July 26, all roads lead to Lutheran Church of the Resurrection and the magical merry world of trains at the 4th Annual Christmas In July Fundraiser. Festooned with glittering lights, the gym will be transformed into a winter wonderland of delight as you enter a snow-flurry world of inflatable Santas, reindeer, snowmen and mysterious nutcrackers—replete with holiday songs and music.

Rediscover the joy of childhood with a dazzling display of classic model trains from Resurrection’s own collectors and hobbyists: Jay Campson, Doug Hoffmann, Doug Kurz, Joe Mecchella, John and Jim Mesloh, Ken Meyn, and Gerhardt Muller.

Mineola-Garden City Rotary

honors Suzie and Rob Alvey

The ballroom of the Garden City Country Club was packed with Rotarians, family, friends and associates of Suzie and Robert (Rob) Alvey as they were recently honored with the Mineola-Garden City Rotary Club’s 24th annual “Community Service Award.” Both residents who were raised in Garden City, the Alveys have been recognized many times over as integral members of the community. Suzie Alvey is a professional artist, writer, award-winning photographer, and board member of the Garden City Historical Society. She was appointed village historian by Mayor John Watras in 2013. Alvey’s paintings and drawings are in private collections throughout the United States and internationally and can be locally viewed at village hall and at the Garden City Chamber of Commerce Toll Lodge.


Sports

The Best Secret In Town!

Did you know that each of our neighbor hood parks runs a playground program every summer? Children entering 1st through 8th grades who are residents of the Village are invited to come to the park during the summer to find out what activities are taking place.

Each park has its own “flavor” and “favorite” activities. The park directors and their staff run games, sports, tournaments, and arts and crafts activities during the day and into the evening. Trips are also run through the parks.  

Thousands throng Garden City for

Annual Jay Gallagher Tournament

The Seventeenth Annual Jay Gallagher Memorial Lacrosse Tournament recently took place on Garden City’s lacrosse fields. The ‘Gallagher’ has been a key fundraiser, with well over $750,000 collected throughout the years for the Andy Foundation, the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation, the Miracle Foundation and the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop University Hospital.

With more than 120 teams and 5,000 players, coaches and fans from the tri-state area, the annual tournament provided high level competition in both the boys and girls groups from the third grade up to and including the eighth grade.


Calendar

Summer Concert: Manhattan Jazz

Thursday, July 17

YAK & Snack Book Discussions

Saturday, July 19

Marvelous Movie Matinee

Monday, July 21



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com