Bisnow recently provided some fun facts for your next dinner party – New York City’s 10 oldest surviving commercial real estate dynasties. Who topped the list? Keep reading to find out and click here to view all 10.
Founded: While the Rockefellers have only been involved in real estate since 1928, they’ve been a financial powerhouse since the 1870s.
The Founder: Along with his brother William, John D. Rockefeller made billions with Standard Oil. He would’ve been worth $30B today, and had assets worth 1.5% of America’s GDP at the time of his death.
Famous Properties: The Rockefellers’ first and most famous contribution to Manhattan’s skyline came with Rockefeller Center, constructed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in the 1930s. Since then, the Rockefellers have been responsible for dozens of well-known properties throughout the city, including MoMA, the Cloisters, Lincoln Center and the original World Trade Center.
Famous Members: There are dozens of famous and powerful Rockefellers, such as David Rockefeller–the former CEO of Chase National Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), who is worth $3B and was offered (and declined) Secretary of the Treasury and Chairman of the Federal Reserve positions–and the late Nelson Rockefeller, who served as Gerald Ford’s vice president. Third-generation Laurence Rockefeller set up the RockResorts brand, which had properties in St. John in the US Virgin Islands, Vermont, and Arizona. The brand was sold in 1986, and has been owned by Vail Resorts since 2001.
Where They Are Now: The family is worth about $10B today–a far cry from their original standing–and is mainly focused on the Rockefeller Foundation, a philanthropic organization worth $3.5B. The Rockefeller Group real estate company–once responsible for the development of the Avenue of the Americas–continues to develop properties today, although it’s now owned by Mitsubishi Estate. But their legacy is still felt: the companies formed in the ashes of Standard Oil (CoconoPhillips, BP, Chevron, and Exxon Mobile) stand as the world’s most powerful oil companies, and the Rockefeller name still graces many New York properties.
Fun Fact: The Rockefeller Group is a Building Engines client!