Deal is made to sell Rockefeller Center

USA Today
December 22, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) — Rockefeller Center has been sold to two minority shareholders for $1.85 billion, severing the Rockefeller family's last remaining ties to the historic city landmark, The New York Times reported. The pending deal would transfer full control of the complex to Jerry I. Speyer and Lester Crown, who currently own 5% of the complex.

The sale price comes in well under that which the owners reportedly had sought. Rockefeller Center Properties Inc. Trust, which paid $1.2 billion four years ago, had asked for as much as $2.5 billion after putting the center up for sale in May.

The deal comes atop a glitzy four-year refurbishment and a real estate boom after the property had sunk into bankruptcy when the former owner, Japan's Mitsubishi family, walked away from the property amid an economic downturn in the early 1990s.

The 22-acre office building complex was built during the heart of the depression and has since anchored New York's midtown as an international symbol of commerce and capitalism.

The complex contains the skating rink and plaza where the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree draws hundreds of thousands of holiday tourists.

Structures in the center include the GE Building, home to NBC, and The Associated Press building, home to the world's largest news organization.

Speyer and Crown will purchase the interests of their partners: banker David Rockefeller; the Goldman Sachs Group; the Agnelli Family of Italy; and the estate of Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos.