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Leonard Litwin, 98, has been involved in apartment house construction and management for over sixty years. It was during the 1950’s that Leonard Litwin and his father entered the New York City real estate market with various projects including the Pavilion, which was the largest luxury apartment building in New York City. The Litwins started as nurserymen over 70 years ago and still maintain the Woodbourne Cultural Nursery in Melville, NY. This 200 acre working nursery still grows thousands of trees and shrubs. This is Mr. Litwin’s passion and a trademark of all his buildings. Each has a substantial amount of beautifully landscaped areas that contribute to the overall beauty of Manhattan.
Since he started building apartment houses, Mr. Litwin has remained one of the most active owner-builders of luxury high-rise Manhattan buildings. Glenwood Management Corp. retains the reputation as one of the best management companies of residential apartment houses in New York City. One of Mr. Litwin’s new buildings, Liberty Plaza at 10 Liberty Street, was given special recognition for a new building on the NYS and Federal Register’s of Historic Places as a shining example of what should be built in historic districts. This building is also an example of Mr. Litwin’s dedication to New York City as it was the first new building to rise after 9/11 at a time when other developers were waiting for someone to risk enormous sums to commence the rebirth of downtown.
Mr. Litwin only builds rental housing having foregone the oftentimes greater profits of condominium development or conversion because he believes that rental housing is the lifeblood of the New York City economy. Without it, there is no place for young up and coming professionals and starter families to live. He also builds hundreds of low income housing units each year in his 80/20 projects.
Mr. Litwin is well respected by his peers and is actively involved in various real estate trade organizations. He is presently the Chairman Emeritus for Life of the Real Estate Board of New York, Vice Chairman of the Rent Stabilization Association of New York and Co-Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York.
Leonard Litwin is actively involved in numerous charities. Mr. Litwin co-founded The Litwin Zucker Alzheimer’s Research Center at North Shore LIJ and substantially supports Alzheimer’s research at NYU, Cornell Weill and elsewhere. In addition, Mr. Litwin has made significant gifts to NYU and Memorial Sloan Kettering in the areas of cancer research. All of these efforts involve his time and effort as well as the significant funds donated. He has established The Litwin Foundation to ensure that these endeavors last well beyond his lifetime.
He has funded extensive research to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease by giving substantial sums to the American Crohn’s Foundation, recently giving a large gift to create the first initiative into juvenile Crohn’s research. He has funded research projects in four separate hospitals – Lenox Hill, Mt. Sinai, Cornell Weill and North Shore LIJ -- , and has founded the New York Crohn’s Foundation to further these causes. He has also contributed large amounts to fund research initiatives in the fight to find treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other maladies.
The Woodbourne Cultural Nursery is in the process of being converted to the Woodbourne Arboretum eventually covering all 200 acres of the nursery and will be Mr. Litwin’s legacy to all of Long Island as a statement of his passion for the environment and the need for greenery and nature in our lives. In this vein, Mr. Litwin established with Cornell University the Cornell Quarantine center which is used to help eradicate invasive pests such as the dreaded Asian Longhorn Beetle, which just infested and destroyed over 7,000 more trees in Staten Island.
Mr. Litwin is still actively building in New York. His more recent projects include Liberty Plaza, at the corner of Liberty Street and William Street, the Grand Tier, at Broadway between West 64th Street and West 65th Street, the Barclay Tower at 10 Barclay Street, Emerald Green at 320 West 38th Street, the newly opened Crystal Green at 330 West 39th Street. Construction is underway on two luxury 80/20 towers on the site of the Fordham Campus at Amsterdam Avenues between West 60th and West 62nd Streets.