Tribute to Abram Barkan

Realtor Abram Barkan Dies at 87

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
By Barbara Jarvie

New York City - Prominent New York realtor Abram Barkan died April 17 of complications associated with Alzheimer's disease. He was 87.

Born in Brooklyn, he was referred to as the "Dean of Appraisers." Barkan had a career in commercial real estate that spanned 61 years. Most of his career was spent with James Felt Realty Services, where he began as their office clerk, the day after graduating from high school. Under the tutelage of his mentor Jack Felt, Barkan rose through the ranks, eventually becoming president of the company during the 1970s. With his long-time partner and friend Henry Hart Rice, he also engineered the sale of James Felt Realty to Grubb & Ellis.

Assignments he worked on during his career included the redevelopment of Roosevelt Island and the development of Reston, VA. He was lead appraiser for the US Railway Association representing the US Government in the bankruptcy of the Penn Central Railroad. His client base included RH Macy, Metropolitan Life Insurance, Chase Manhattan Bank, Rockefeller Center, and ABC Television.

According to his son, Martin, "he will be remembered by his colleagues for his complex real estate problem solving prowess, his exceptionally ethical standards and personable demeanor." Barkan also served as national president of the Counselors of Real Estate, president of the New York Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, and was a longstanding governor of the Real Estate Board of New York. He also served as president of Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston, NJ.

"We are saddened by the loss of Abe Barkan, former REBNY governor, who was an active and dedicated member for more than 50 years," says Steven Spinola, REBNY president. "Abe was one of our industry's most distinguished and respected appraisers."

Barkan served in the US Army during World War II. As a member of the 82nd Airborne Division he was among the first American Soldiers to land in Normandy on D-Day by glider. He was wounded in action in Normandy and again during the allied airborne invasion of Holland in September 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart and other citations for his service.

He and the late Grace Barkan were married for 51 years and had three sons, the late Leonard, Irwin, and Martin. Irwin and Martin followed their father into the real estate industry. Barkan is also survived by four grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to: ENRM VA Hospital, Voluntary Services Unit 62 AB, Attn: Voluntary Services, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730.



30 Years at James Felt & Company Anniversary Luncheon



Abe's 50 Years at Felt
In 1986 Abe celebrated 50 years in the real estate business. We secretly designed a card and had it signed by all of his industry buddies. It was a very proud moment for all of us. If you can't read the writing, here are the signatories. It is quite a group and a testament to Abe's ability to keep and make friends with some of the world's toughest businessmen.

Harry Helmsley                                 Milton Cooper                                Seymore Durst

Henry Rice                                       Hal Ellis                                        Phil Rosen
(his great partner and friend)

Alan Tishman                                   Jack Weiler                                    Bert French

Lew Rudin                                       Harry Huberth                                 Bernie Mendick

Dan Rose                                        George Klein                                   Peter Jay Sharp

Fred Rose                                       George Kaufman                              Claud Ballard

Larry Silverstein                               Elliot Farber                                    Brian Strum

Donald Trump                                  Pete Haeffner Jr.                             William Brach
(not yet the TV celeb!)

Edward S Gordon                             Burton Resnick                                Frank Troisi

Irving Schneider                              John R. White                                 Peter Feinberg

Charles Urstadt                               Gerry Speyer                                  Norman Cardinali

Irwin Barkan                                   Aaron Gural                                    Stanton Roth
(in good company)