Bill Edwards, SVP of Core Holdings, Champions Collaborative Culture and Market-Savvy Positioning
Meet the Rockefeller Group Team: Bill Edwards
Dynamic and forward-thinking are two words often used to describe Rockefeller Group’s Bill Edwards. Bill is responsible for synchronizing the teams of Rockefeller Group’s flagship properties, 1271 and 1221 Avenue of the Americas. Often referring to himself as a “generalist,” he splits his time working across four sectors: leasing, marketing, operations and capital projects for the company’s core assets. While leasing is always a primary focus, the marketing, operations and capital aspects of these projects are just as essential, and all four work in tandem. Bill is keen to offer insight on how he has worked to reposition Rockefeller Group in the current market, what sets the firm apart, and what he brings to the table in his current role.
Investing in Assets
When you ask Bill about his job requirements, he will explain that it is his responsibility to inform everyone he can about 1271 and 1221 Avenue of the Americas, as well as future initiatives at Rockefeller Group. Opened in 1959, 1271 was developed in partnership with Time Inc., with architecture by Harrison Abramovitz & Harris, the architect for all of Rockefeller Center. The building is emblematic of Rockefeller Group’s reputable history; according to Bill, it is also indicative of the company’s long-term goals. While the company’s core assets are centrally located within Rockefeller Center along Avenue of the Americas, the company has been responsive to its tenants’ demands, and committed to investing in its properties to appeal to a wide range of companies, from creative organizations to financial institutions. Rockefeller Group’s willingness to ensure its properties remain relevant, regardless of the current climate of the market, has encompassed $600 million invested across 2.1 million square feet of product. Bill and his team have played a key role in these initiatives, wearing several different hats and collaborating with the company’s Design & Construction team to spearhead all capital projects related to the firm’s core assets.
Maintaining an Industry Staple
Bill believes that the company must have flexibility in the types of projects it can deliver, and he cites this as an essential aspect of maintaining long-term relationships and having meaningful conversations with prospective tenants. In planning for the future, Rockefeller Group has made a nearly $50 million investment in the lobby of 1221 Avenue of the Americas, which is currently more than 95 percent occupied. Bill views renovations like the Sixth Avenue plaza, a part of the 1221 project, as an amenity for the entire neighborhood – a response to the current market and an investment for the future. Despite changing with the times, stability in ownership remains key to the Group – Rockefeller Group is here today and will be here tomorrow, as Bill often says, a reference to the company’s long-term approach to its business and flagship properties.
A Comprehensive Approach
Bill’s architecture and engineering expertise and his background in design and construction have been integral to his success at Rockefeller Group. Having a multidisciplinary and integrated approach has afforded him the insight necessary to prepare spaces for prospective tenants’ needs. His perspective from the tenant’s side of commercial real estate complements his ability to quickly understand capital projects. He regularly holds meetings with Core Holdings group members to bring together all its various disciplines and maintain a collaborative atmosphere.
Outside of the office, Bill recently completed the Brooklyn Half-Marathon (and says he has no desire to do it again). However, after running the entire journey through his hometown Brooklyn on foot, from Prospect Park all the way to Coney Island, he suggests everyone try the marathon for themselves to make their own decision. As a self-proclaimed professional non-runner, you might see him taking another crack at marathons sometime in the future. In the meantime, he will be training by trying to keep up with his six- and nine-year-old sons.