Rudin Management Company Part 3
October 08, 2018
EisnerAmper Real Estate Services Group Chair Ken Weissenberg talks about 100 years of Rudin real estate development in New York with CEO and vice chairman Bill Rudin and Samantha Rudin Earls of Rudin Management Company. Bill shares how he started in development, and how the next generation of Rudin developers is coming up in the family business.
KW: It is absolutely stunning. I'm very impressed, and I wish I had the cash to buy a place like this. So the Rudin family has been in the real estate business for about a hundred years, you're the third generation and Samantha you're the fourth?
BR: That's correct.
SR: I’m the fourth.
KW: That is very impressive.
BR: And we have the fifth generation. Samantha's got a beautiful young daughter Ell who's four and Michael has a four month old son named Lucas. So we're already got the farm team working on the farm team.
KW: Very exciting. So how many Rudins are there in the family business right now?SR: There are a lot of us.
BR: That's a good question. There’s Samantha, Michael, myself, my cousin Eric, my sister Beth, and then we have a bunch of other cousins who also work with us who are part of the family. So we're definitely, we believe in nepotism, and very strongly. It’s part of our culture to have the family in the business and I'm very excited and I think the third generations are excited that Samantha and Michael have really come into the business been, in the business for over…
SR: It will be my ten year anniversary next July so nine years.
KW: That's crazy. So you told us how Samantha got her start in the real estate business. Now you also started in the family real estate business I guess a few years before that, and was it a demolition site on Pike Street was your first project?
BR: Sure. Well, but I think just in terms of Samantha. It was really my wife Ophelia who came to me and said why don't you ask Samantha to come in and work. I was like but she's studying acting, what's been actress. She said she'd be great, and she was a thousand percent correct. The timing was perfect because we were just starting these projects, and they're really a great opportunity for Samantha and then Michael to really see firsthand how a development was created. I think there are a lot of similarities between acting and theater and making a movie or making a TV show and making and developing, making a development and building a building.
KW: You don’t get too many takes on doing a building though.
BR: Yes that is correct. You get one take. So I started off when I was younger, when I was in college I worked as a production assistant on a couple of movies and obviously as a young kid I would always go with my dad to different meetings or different events and go to construction sites. Yes, when I was probably, maybe Elle's age- maybe four or five years old - around the time because it was like probably 1959, I was born in ’55. My dad took me down to 80 Pine Street and to the groundbreaking. There’s a picture in my office of me and my dad's arms with my grandfather and father and uncle and I think the borough president of Manhattan at that time Huellen Jack at the groundbreaking. you know, I remember that very vividly, even at four years old, over nearly 55-56 years ago, so that's my first recollection of going to a construction site. As I grew up I would go visit my dad in the office, and at 415 Madison, and see my grandfather, my uncle and I would walk around the office, and get to see the people working and try to understand what they were doing.
And then when I went to college. I had a little knowledge that I wanted to experiment with some of the things, and then I realized I went to school in Arizona, and I realized being there for a couple of years that New York was really the place I wanted to be. So I came back and went to NYU, and then started work part-time when I was at NYU, and that was right about the time when the city was coming out of its fiscal crisis in the mid-70s, and we were just starting a building at 560 Lexington Avenue so we had to go through a zoning change, and I was able to really follow my father and uncle, and particularly my uncle Jack, as we went through the zoning and the design. We hired the new architect. We had used Emory Roth for many years, and they had gone out of business, and we found a different architectural firm and went through the zoning and really saw how again how to put the pieces together. I think it's analogous to Samantha and Michael because we had to go through the zoning process for here at the Greenwich Lane it was a fantastic learning experience.