I spent a year researching the Lincoln property company that manages a $1 billion mansion on the banks of the Missouri River in New York City.
The property is the Lincolnshire Property Group, and the company’s owners, Felicity and Charles, are the wealthiest men in America.
The Lincolnshire Group is the only real estate investment vehicle in America that has three owners who are billionaires and who all own more than a third of the nation’s wealth.
For example, the $1.3 billion property at 718 Fifth Avenue and 1 West 46th Street is owned by two of the richest men in the United States: Robert and Linda Lincoln, whose combined wealth is more than $100 billion.
Robert Lincoln, the patriarch of the Lincoln family, is the largest individual shareholder of the company, with an estimated net worth of more than three billion.
Lincolnshire Property was founded by the Lincoln brothers, who were wealthy in the early 1900s, when their father, Robert, bought the Lincoln Estate in Omaha.
Robert and Linda bought the property from the family in 1932 for $1,800,000, but they sold it to the Lincoln Family Trust in 1988.
The trust bought the estate for $8.5 billion in 2005, and by the time of the current Lincoln family’s death in 2015, the estate had been valued at more than five billion dollars.
When I visited Lincolnshire last month, the company was already under contract for a $3.9 billion renovation of the property at the corner of West 46 and First Street in Manhattan.
“We have a $5 billion-plus project underway, and we’ve got to make the renovations,” says Felicity Lincoln, a self-proclaimed “proud owner” who sits on the board of the organization.
I spoke to Felicity by phone about the project and about the Lincoln house.
She told me that the renovation would be complete by 2025.
But the work has been delayed by a legal battle between the Lincolns, who want to demolish the mansion and move it to a new site, and a group of tenants, who are trying to stop the project.
“The Lincols have not been forthcoming with us,” she says.
“The Linsons have been very aggressive in pursuing all kinds of other remedies.”
I asked if the Linsns would pay for the work, to which Felicity replied that they have not, but that the renovations would cost $300 million, or $10 million per square foot, per year, and that the Lensons would take that in full.
“It would depend on the cost,” she said.
“And we will have to work out the terms with them,” she added.
The renovation will include a glass front to create a “bridge” between the two buildings.
The renovation will cost $1 million per month, Felicia says, and would cost around $5 million a month in rent.
“I know that the project has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in New Yorkers,” she adds.
But Felicity also said that the Lincoln estate’s renovation will not bring a profit.
“If you build the renovation in 2025, we’re not going to be able to recover that cost,” Felicity says.
That statement raises questions about whether the Linchmans, who have been spending billions of dollars renovating the property, will make a profit on the project, or if the work will bring little or no profit.
Felicity Lincoln told me in an email that her family has not spent any money on the renovation.
“We have not invested in renovations since the Lincoln Trust was created,” she wrote.
“There has been no financial gain to be had from any renovation.”
I contacted Felicity on behalf of a reporter for The New York Times who had requested an interview with the Lintons.
She responded that her son, Robert Lincoln, is an executive producer on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” which is produced by NBCUniversal, which is owned and operated by the Lincoln family.
She declined to comment on the authenticity of that program.
“As we said, this is a story about building a luxury mansion,” she told me.
“Our goal is to get the Lincolns out of the mansion as soon as possible.
It’s very important to me that we do this safely and efficiently.
And we have to make sure we have the right materials to do that.”
When I contacted the Lincoln clan via email, they declined to answer my questions about the renovation project.
“You will get a reply from Felicity,” a spokesperson for the Lancasters wrote in an e-mail.
“But I will not say anything further about the restoration project.”
The Lincoln Estate is one of the wealthiest properties in the country, with a median net worth that tops $3 billion.
The Lincoln estate is also home to some of the most famous real estate properties in New England, including a $50 million mansion built in 1798 by