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Bill Greiner, untiring real estate executive, dies at 93

Bill Greiner, president and co-founder of industrial real

Bill Greiner, president and co-founder of industrial real estate brokerage Greiner-Maltz, at the company's Plainview office on June 7, 2016. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Bill Greiner, untiring co-founder and president of industrial brokerage Greiner-Maltz Co. of Long Island, died Tuesday in Manhasset after a short illness. He was 93.

Greiner hadn’t taken a formal vacation since a weeklong trip to Cape May in 1955, he said in an interview last year, adding that the trip decades ago left him “bored out of my mind.” He continued to work seven days a week out of the company’s Plainview office and from his Roslyn home until a few weeks before his death.

Colleagues said that work was his passion, and he didn’t find it a burden.

“I don’t think he’s ever worked a day in his life, because he was doing what he was factory-built to do,” said Tom Attivissimo, chief executive and principal at Greiner-Maltz.

In addition to his work ethic, Greiner “was a standout in the industry because of his gentle demeanor and his giving nature,” Attivissimo said.

Greiner founded the company in 1953 with his business partner, the late Richard Maltz. The firm, with offices in Plainview, Queens, Westchester and New Jersey, now brokers more than $400 million in deals a year.

Greiner, who was born in Manhattan, returned home from service in the U.S. Army in 1948. He then completed his business degree at City College. In 1950 he found work as a property canvasser, handing out fliers for Brett, Wyckoff, Potter & Hamilton, where he met Maltz.

“Fortunately, there were no good jobs around,” which led Greiner to a career in real estate, he said in a 2016 Newsday profile.

He and Maltz would later go on to found their brokerage in a small office in Long Island City, before opening a second office in 1962 in Westbury and later Plainview.

Beyond his commitment to business clients, Greiner strived over the years to give “back to the Long Island business community that’s given so much to him for so many years,” said Greiner’s son Dean, of Commack. “His mentorship extended far beyond Greiner-Maltz,” said his son, who is senior marketing director at Greiner-Maltz. “If there was anyone in the industry that sought him out for advice, he gave it freely and very generously.”

Greiner was also committed to living an exceptionally healthy lifestyle. He often credited his longevity to his “absolute” commitment to healthy living, and kept a cycling machine and hand weights at his desk.

It wasn’t uncommon for Greiner to give gifts of salmon to employees to encourage better eating habits.

“He was actually able to inspire them to eat better,” Attivissimo said.

In addition to his son, Greiner is survived by his daughters Amy Hawley of Allentown, Pennsylvania and Eve Greiner of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, and his two grandchildren, Ian and Sara Greiner. He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Doris.

His family will hold a private ceremony and a yet to be scheduled memorial service.

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