NEW YORK CITY-Goldman Sachs has been seeking a buyer for Rockefeller Center officially since May and has now narrowed its search to five companies.

As a company insider at the Rockefeller Group notes, the portion of Rockefeller Center up for sale is only that which is classified as “landmark property.” This includes the GE building, housing NBC, as well as Radio City Music Hall and the skating rink.

He says that the buildings on the west side of the Avenue of the Americas are not part of the deal and their ownership and/or management has remained with the Rockefeller Group, one-time owner of the entire Rockefeller Center complex.

Currently, 1211 6th Ave. is owned by Jamestown Group, German investors that bought the property in April 2000. The Rockefeller Group owns 55% of 1221 6th Ave. and is partners with McGraw Hill Co., which owns the other 45%. Mitsui Fudosan owns 1251 6th Ave. The Rockefeller Group owns the Time Life Building at 1271 6th Ave. Rockefeller Development Management Group of the Rockefeller Group manages all four of these properties.

Goldman Sachs has only owned the landmark property since 1996, paying $1.2 billion. Japanese company Mitsubishi Estate sold the property while facing bankruptcy during the downturn of Japan’s economy in the early 1990s. Prior to that, the center was owned by Rockefeller Properties Group.

While Goldman Sachs is a majority owner of the property up for sale, Tishman Speyer Properties, David Rockefeller and several families–the Agnelli family of Italy, the Niarchos family of Greece and the Crown family of Chicago, also own percentages of it. Tishman currently serves as managing and leasing agent, as well as the operating partner.

A spokesperson for Tishman tells that the enitre ownership consortium of the Rockefeller Center landmark property, known as Rockefeller Center Properties Incorporated Trust, is up for sale, which will bring to a close Tishman’s, as well as that of the other owners, role in the property.

The finalists in this latest round, according to published reports include: Equity Office Properties Trust of Chicago chairman Sam Zell, who on behalf of his company had pursued purchasing the property in 1996; Vornado Realty Trust of Saddle Brook, NJ president Michael Fascitelli; Boston Properties, Inc., Fisher Brothers of New York, and one undisclosed company. sought a comment from Goldman Sachs, but a spokesperson reports that no comments on the bidding will be made at this time.

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