Houlihan-Parnes History

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At Bronx Real Estate Board Annual
Banquet in 1962, left to right, Daniel J. Houlihan, James G. Houlihan,
Jerry Barbieri, and Howard L. Parnes

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The second generation of Houlihans, Daniel's sons, left to right, Daniel J. Jr., John J., Jeremiah A., and James A.

The history of Houlihan-Parnes and its predecessors, Daniel Houlihan Corporation, D. Houlihan and Sons, and Houlihan Mortgage and Realty Company, is a unique success story characterized by the enthusiasm and dedication of four successive generations of Houlihans and, as of 1967, Howard Parnes. This extraordinary example of the “American Dream” has created an organization which has been successfully involved in the real estate industry since 1891.

Houlihan-Parnes and its affiliates, headquartered in White Plains, New York, currently employs real estate professionals including: brokers, salespersons, servicing personnel, mortgage specialists, property managers, leasing, construction, and technology experts, fiscal accounting, and office personnel.

The current role of the company, as a leader in the real estate industry, is indeed a credit to its founder, Daniel Houlihan, from County Kerry, Ireland, arriving in the USA in 1874 on his own, at the tender age of fourteen. Young Dan soon found work as a construction laborer and advanced rapidly to carpenter / contractor. While still in his twenties he opened his own general contracting and construction company. In 1891, Dan expanded the business further as he began buying and selling building lots in Manhattan and the Bronx.

Shortly after 1900, the Houlihan family moved to Bainbridge Avenue in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx, where Dan Houlihan became renowned for building “Houlihan’s Flats”, the first multi-family apartment buildings, situated in what was then farmland, north of Fordham Road. This construction was quite unique to the time and afforded fire companies from the north Bronx an opportunity to practice new techniques on these “high rise” buildings.

Before and after World War I, Joe, James, and Daniel joined the company and pioneered the development of the Bedford Park, Woodlawn, and Wakefield sections of the Bronx, constructing private homes, apartment buildings, retail taxpayers, theaters and other commercial buildings. In addition, the family business was further expanded to include real estate management, sales, and insurance.

During the dire times attributed to the Great Depression, life insurance firms and banks employed the Houlihans to manage and sell hundreds of foreclosed properties. As exclusive area agent for the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, a forerunner of the FHA, the Houlihans operated and subsequently sold thousands of properties.

During World War II, Dan’s son, James A. Houlihan, was a founding member and later became President of the Bronx Real Estate Board (1940-41) and head of the local U.S. Treasury War Bond Drive. He expanded the company to include property appraisals and mortgage brokerage.

In 1955, a third generation represented by Jim’s son, James G. Houlihan, and Joe’s son, Daniel J. Houlihan, joined the business. After Jim Sr.’s death in 1961, the company name changed to The Houlihan Mortgage and Realty Company. James G. Houlihan served as President of the Bronx Board of Realtors (1961-62) and New York State Association of Realtors (1964) and as the Regional Vice President of the National Association of Realtors (1966). Daniel J. Houlihan, III served as President of the Bronx Board of Realtors (1971-72) and the Bronx and Metropolitan Societies of Professional Engineers (1964).

In 1967, Howard Parnes became a partner, joining Jim and Dan Houlihan, forming what is now known as Houlihan Parnes Realtors, LLC. Howard entered the firm with a strong entrepreneurial background in the retail business. However, during his forty plus year tenure as an active principal, lender, and broker, Howard was involved internationally in the purchase, ownership and sale of several thousand commercial properties and mortgages.

Howard Parnes’ entrance into the Houlihan family business heralded a renewed emphasis on the ownership and investment phase of the business.

In 1973, the company moved to Scarsdale and Jim’s son, James J. Houlihan, became the first member of the fourth generation of young Houlihans to enter the business. In 1987 Jim became a partner in the firm and has served since then as the managing partner of HP Realtors, LLC. Since then the company has expanded by an aggressive acquisition strategy and by adding and supplementing a number of affiliated real estate service companies including GHP Office Realty, HP Property Group, Coolidge Equities, HP Capital, and Q10 New York Realty Advisors.

This once small firm was conceived and developed solely through the hard work of one indigent Irish immigrant. Vision and an extraordinary work ethic have helped this company evolve into a modern, technologically advanced multi-faceted, real estate investment, consulting, and service company.

The name Houlihan-Parnes Realtors, LLC, as reflected in its formidable history and bolstered by the reputation and quality of its ownership, continues to be synonymous with integrity, persistence, professionalism, and success.

James G. Houlihan is currently inactive. Daniel J. Houlihan passed away in 1998 and Howard L. Parnes passed in 2016.