Houlihan-Parnes Realtors, LLC History
At Bronx Real Estate Board Annual Banquet in 1962, left to right, Daniel J. Houlihan, James G. Houlihan, Jerry Barbieri, and Howard L. Parnes
The second generation of Houlihans, Daniel’s sons, left to right, Daniel J. Jr., John J., Jeremiah A., and James A.
The success of Houlihan-Parnes, LLC can be traced through its rich history – one that is built on 125 years of passionate work and perseverance. It takes root in 1874, when a young Daniel J. Houlihan left his home in County Kerry, Ireland in search of prosperity in America. Just 14 years old, Daniel landed stateside with nothing more that a change of clothes and a one-pound note pinned to his jacket pocket. But Daniel was determined to succeed, and found work as a laborer in the construction business. His hard work and enthusiasm helped him rise swiftly through the ranks to carpenter, contractor, and finally entrepreneur, when he launched his own company in 1891.
The business thrived, and Daniel’s unstoppable drive took him to New York in 1885. He and his wife Margaret created a home in upper Manhattan for their growing family, along with a new hotel and restaurant. They also invested in land in under-developed northern Manhattan, seeing its potential for success. Their instincts paid off as the New York City railroads expanded and that same land turned into the bustling neighborhood known today as the Bronx. Soon, the Daniel J. Houlihan Corporation was building single-family homes, apartment buildings, and commercial properties throughout Bedford Park, Woodlawn, and Wakefield in the Bronx.
Daniel Houlihan & Sons prospered throughout the New York area, and Daniel’s sons Joseph T., Daniel J., and James A. Houlihan continued to run the business when their father and founder Daniel retired. The Great Depression hit the family hard, but the Houlihans were able to weather the storm by switching from construction to real estate management, sales, and leasing in order to keep their properties. Daniel’s sons took quickly to family business, with James A. elected president of the Real Estate Board of the Bronx in 1941. And they continued to keep their prized business in the family, which flourished throughout the 1950s and 60s with specialties in mortgage financing and real estate sales. In 1966, a fortuitous meeting between Howard Parnes and James and Dan Houlihan led to their eventual partnership. Howard’s apartment buying and selling skills paired perfectly with James and Dan’s financial contacts and mortgage know-how. In 1967, Howard Parnes joined as full partner with the Houlihans’ real estate and mortgage business, creating Houlihan-Parnes Realtors.
This blending of talents resulted in immediate success and growth. The 1970s saw the fourth generation of Houlihans enter the family business as the company focused on buying and selling commercial real estate and performing third party sales and mortgage financing. They also entered the co-op conversion business, successfully converting nearly 40 rental buildings to cooperatives over the next 12 years.
The 1990s were a vital period for the growth and expansion of Houlihan-Parnes. In the early 1990s, Howard Parnes led a successful effort to buy distressed portfolios from the FDIC and RTC. This focus led to Houlihan-Parnes’ evolution from a local firm to a broad and successful national platform. It also expanded its influence into other partnerships with Coolidge Equities and a partnership with Prudential Life Insurance to represent their lending platform in the northeastern U.S. As the company shifted its priorities to long-term equity positions, it saw the need to create its own property management platform. So it created Metro Property group, known today as Houlihan-Parnes Properties. Houlihan-Parnes also saw a great opportunity in the business of buying, owning, managing, and leasing office properties and commercial buildings. They partnered with Andrew M. Greenspan to create GHP Office Realty, which would quickly blossom and own over 5,000,000 square feet of space.
In the mid-2000s, Houlihan-Parnes launched consulting and advisory services for institutional clients. It proudly serves hospitals, universities, banks, government institutions, and for- and not-for-profit entities. The fifth generation of the Houlihan family also began working with the company, and in 2008 Houlihan-Parnes moved to its current location in White Plains, New York. Houlihan-Parnes family members continue to proudly accept awards from their alma maters, realtor associations, and cultural centers as tokens of their service in both the real estate field and their local communities.
Houlihan-Parnes’ path to success is one that is intrinsically woven into its storied history. From the dreams of one Irish immigrant emerged a company that is dedicated to service, passionate about quality work, and truly a leader in the real estate industry. Houlihan-Parnes and its affiliates have expanded over the decades to offer a wealth of services to their clients, always delivered with an emphasis on customer service and integrity. Houlihan-Parnes has kept its emphasis on family since its inception and throughout its four generations of leadership. It proudly extends that warmth and dedication to each and every one of it clients and partners, and it is committed to keeping the Houlihan-Parnes name synonymous with integrity, persistence, professionalism, and success.