By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Basil Capetanakis, a longtime business leader and community activist in Bay Ridge, was named by the Bay Ridge Community Council as the recipient of the 2014 Civic Award, council leaders announced April 3.
Capetanakis, a licensed real estate broker, is a founding member of the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) and is a former chairman of Community Board 10.
The Bay Ridge Community Council presents a Civic Award each year to an individual who has established a solid record of working to help make Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton – the three neighborhoods the council represents – better places to live and work.
“The Bay Ridge Community Council Civic Award affords the opportunity to spotlight those community-minded individuals who have passion for improving life for those around them while at the same time capturing the unique spirit of Bay Ridge,” First Vice President Alex Conti said.
Capetanakis was an ideal choice for the award, according to Conti. “You look for leaders to step up, and we appreciate not only the impact that Basil has had on their own communities but the inspiration they provide to others,” he said.
Conti said that in Capetanakis , the community council’s Civic Award Committee has chosen a longtime Bay Ridge resident who worked tirelessly for numerous local organizations and charities.
Conti served as chairman of the award committee.
Capetanakis will receive his award at the community council’s dinner dance in June.
Capetanakis was born in Sparta, Greece in 1930. He and his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1946 and settled in Park Slope. Capetanakis graduated from Manual Training High School and attended Brooklyn College. At the same time, he and his family started the first of many businesses they would own over the years, a restaurant in Park Slope. Capetanakis’s college studies were interrupted in 1953 when he joined the US Army and served during the Korean War.
He trained at Camp Chafee in Arkansas and Fort Ord in California and then served with his brother James in the Fourth Infantry in Germany. Following his honorable discharge in 1955, Capetanakis rejoined his family business and resumed night studies at Brooklyn College.
He graduated from Brooklyn College with a BA in Political Science in 1959. He later completed graduate coursework in the Real Estate Program at Baruch College, which is when he began his long and successful real estate career.
After Capetanakis became a licensed real estate and mortgage broker, he founded 14 Apollo Real Estate in 1972, naming the business after the Apollo space missions. Also around this time, he and his brothers began to invest in real estate.
Today, 14 Apollo Real Estate is active in real estate sales, mortgage brokerage and property management, as well as co-op and condo development.
Considered an expert in his field, Capetanakis has served as director of the Board of Realtors and Multiple Listing Service and has taught real estate courses at New York University.