The Power is Now

Albert Reichmann, Patriarch of a Real Estate Empire, Dies at 93 – The New York Times

After the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria by Germany, Samuel transferred his bank accounts to London and converted his assets into gold, which he used to finance the family’s escape.

The Reichmanns moved to Paris and then to Tangiers, where Samuel became a currency trader. His wife led the family in packaging and forwarding food and other necessities to concentration camp inmates in Europe during World War II, via the Spanish Red Cross. The family’s home in Tangiers became a sanctuary for other refugees.

Albert was mostly home-schooled, his grandson said.

He married Egosah Feldman, a Romanian immigrant who taught school, in Israel in the mid-1950s. In 1959, the couple moved to Toronto. She died this year.

Mr. Reichmann is survived by their four children, Philip and David Reichmann, Bernice Koenig and Libby Gross; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and his youngest brother, Ralph, his only surviving sibling.

By the time Albert arrived in Toronto, two of this brothers, Edward and Louis, had established Olympia Floor & Wall Tile in Montreal, and his brother Ralph was in charge of the tile company’s Toronto affiliate. His brother Paul was running a property-development affiliate in Toronto.

With about $40,000 from his father, Albert formed York Factory Developments to build warehouses. In 1964, at their father’s urging, the brothers merged the companies into Olympia & York Industrial Development. A global real estate behemoth was born that would make the Reichmanns one of the world’s wealthiest and most philanthropic families.

Among the projects they built were Exchange Place in Boston, the Olympia Center in Chicago and the 72-story First Canadian Place in Toronto, which was the tallest building in Canada when it opened in 1975.

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