Webb & Brooker co-founder Eugene H. Webb dies

Industry leader helped spearhead Harlem’s revival

Webb & Brooker co-founder Eugene H. Webb (Getty)
Webb & Brooker co-founder Eugene H. Webb (Getty)

Euguene H. Webb, a co-founder of the prominent New York real estate firm Webb & Brooker, died on Wednesday at the age of 102. Real Estate Weekly first reported the news.

Webb co-founded the firm with George M. Brooker in 1968 during the Civil Rights Movement, and it went on to become one of Harlem’s most successful brokerages. Webb served as the firm’s chairman and was its senior policy-making officer for more than 40 years.

His beginnings were slightly more humble: Webb was born in Red Level, Alabama on November 24, 1918, and grew up in a shotgun house in “the Bottom,” an area that was home to the town’s poorest residents. He eventually went on to serve two years in the Navy during World War II, the publication reported. After his honorable discharge, he moved to Harlem, attended Columbia University and began his real estate career after getting his license.

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Webb & Brooker was part of the development team behind Renaissance Plaza, a $61 million mixed-use construction project in Central Harlem that lived up to its name, spearheading a revival of new buildings and neighborhood improvements. He was also part of the groups that founded two prominent Black-owned banks: Carver Federal Savings Bank, which remains one of the country’s largest Black-owned banks, and Freedom National Bank, which closed in 1990. Webb served as board chairman for the latter.

He was a member of many real estate trade groups, including the National Association of Real Estate Brokers and the Associated Builders & Owners of Greater New York. He was also the Governor Emeritus of the Real Estate Board of New York. He and Booker also founded the Harlem Real Estate Board, for which Webb served as president.

In a joint statement provided to Real Estate Weekly, REBNY’s James Whelan and Douglas Durst said Webb “was a pioneer whose impact on diversity in this industry is largely unknown.”

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