A leading New York city real estate investor with five decades of experience acquiring, managing, converting, and developing commercial and residential real estate in Manhattan, Walter & Samuels Inc. chairman, David I. Berley, has earned a storied reputation for his inventive deal-making and ability to create
Born in brooklyn, where he attended Midwood high school, Berley started his real estate career working at Berley & Co., where he syndicated his first deal at the age of 23. In 1968 Berley joined Walter & Samuels; He then
bought the company from its senior partners in 1973. As the owner and leader of Walter & Samuels for the last four decades, Berley has done hundreds of deals, whether buying a building himself or working with institutional partners
such as Ceneral Electric Capital Corporation or a Deutsche Bank Reef, Berley brings vast experience, sound judgment, and stunning creativity. Berley has been a pioneer in transforming commercial neighborhoods and converting pre-war residential buildings as well as commercial buildings.
When he moved Walter & Samuels from 342 Madison avenue to 419 park avenue south in the 1970s, Berley led the way in making Midtown south a choice destination for quality office space. Berley has always pushed the real estate envelope in the area of residential conversions. His first conversion was a co-op, 1155 park in 1978. But in the early 1980s, Berley saw the advantage
of doing condominium conversions when everyone else was doing co-ops. Berley has done 30 condo conversions over the last 30 years, most recently 15 Madison square north, a conversion of 20-story pre-war office building into 12 floors of luxury residential apartments above an elegant commercial building.
With a legendary feel for buildings and a mind for numbers, Berley has gained wide respect across the New York real estate community throughout his career. Former chairman of the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association of New York, and former chairman of the board of governors of its New York chapter, Berley is the only person to receive both the young Man of the year award (1977) and the young real estate senior Man of the year award (1990). During the last three years, Berley has done $1 billion in deals.