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Harvey Auerbach, LI builder, banker dies

Harvey Auerbach, a Long Island developer and banker

Harvey Auerbach, a Long Island developer and banker from Bridgehampton, died in his sleep Aug. 7, 2012. He was 85. Newsday's obituary for Harvey Auerbach
Credit: Newsday file photo / Don Jacobsen

Harvey Auerbach, a Long Island developer and banker from Bridgehampton, died in his sleep Tuesday. He was 85.

The founder of Brookwood Management Company in the early 1970s, he built apartments in Suffolk County and one shopping center in Water Mill, said his daughter, Nancy Karwick, of Sag Harbor and Telluride, Colo.

He also was a founder, in 2008, and chairman of Gold Coast Bank, one of the newest and smallest based on Long Island. Privately held and based in Islandia, the bank had assets of $175 million as of June 30 and has four branches, with a fifth to open next month.

Gold Coast chairman John Tsunis said he met Auerbach in the mid 1980s at a golf outing and they became close friends despite a 25-year difference in age. "He was a gentle, kind man," said Tsunis. He said Gold Coast was planning a memorial luncheon for Auerbach.

Auerbach's official biography from Gold Coast says he served as a trustee of the Long Island Power Authority from 1995 until 2007. He was an avid private pilot and golfer, said his daughter.

He also was a founder with Tsunis of the Long Island Commercial Bank, which was later acquired and no longer exists.

Born in New Jersey and raised in Nassau County, Auerbach earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1948, said his daughter. His schooling was interrupted by a two-year hitch in the Navy near the end of World War II, when he served as a radio operator.

He worked for a time in his family's textile business in Manhattan, then, around 1960, went to work for a custom home builder in Glen Head, said his daughter, who runs Brookwood now with her brother Steven Auerbach of Commack.

Auerbach later formed his own home building company, focused in Brookhaven Town, and, around 1970, founded Brookwood, building apartments in Sayville, Holbrook, Coram, Lake Ronkonkoma and Ridge, each with "Brookwood" or "Stonehurst" in their names.

Auerbach is predeceased by his wife, Francine. Survivors besides his daughter and son include a sister, Edna Turner of Boca Raton, Fla. He was buried Wednesday after a graveside service.

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