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F.M. Ring Associates Real Estate – Fifth Avenue – Flatiron District – Estelle Saltiel

© Estelle Saltiel

© Estelle Saltiel

© Estelle Saltiel

High up above the Flatiron District loom several hand painted signs advertising an obscure real estate firm with a eccentric past.

Frank Ring and his brother Michael inherited 15 office buildings – but the brothers could never agree on what to do with the properties. It’s a real-estate mystery: In a city where studios sell for millions, why are more than a dozen prime Manhattan properties going to waste?

Frank and Michael Ring inherited 15 office buildings worth $500 million after their father died. But instead of cashing in on the family fortune, they’ve left most of the valuable real estate vacant.

The empire, mainly buildings in and near the Flatiron District, was put together by Leo Ring. When he died in 1988, Frank became the portfolio’s manager. Each brother owned a 50 percent stake, but they could never agree on what to do with the properties.

Little is known about the Ring Brothers, who live in multimillion-dollar co-ops on the Upper East Side.

Frank’s management firm, F.M. Ring Associates, is headquartered at 212 Fifth Ave., a mostly vacant, 21-story tower overlooking Madison Square Park. An employee told The Post that Frank, 67, would accept questions only via fax. – Kate Briquelet/Real Deal Magazine – October 6, 2013 | 5:46am

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