The F. D. Rich Company was founded in 1920 by Frank D. Rich Sr. Working with his brothers through the early 1960’s, the company constructed numerous projects that had a common thread……attractive buildings that offered a meaningful service to the communities in which they were built.
In the late 1940’s, the founder’s two sons, Frank D. Rich, Jr., and Robert N. Rich, joined the company and together with long time Chief Legal counsel and partner, Lawrence Gochberg, they then grew the Company into an internationally active construction company. Its work included military installations, office buildings, hotels and over 15,000 residential units across 24 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In 1968, the Company was ranked the largest stateside construction contractor for the Department of Defense.
One of the most significant events in the Company’s long and venerable history occurred in 1960 with its selection as the redeveloper of downtown Stamford’s massive urban renewal project. In order to create the dazzling new Stamford skyline the company tapped internationally renowned architects such as Victor Bisharat, Cesar Pelli, Arthur Erickson, Romaldo Giurgola, Hugh Stubbins and Moshe Safdie to name a few.
In 1971, the Company launched a publicly held subsidiary, F. D. Rich Housing Corporation, whose mission was to create prefabricated multi-family housing by incorporating the HABS System, invented by Frank D. Rich Jr., and patented in 20 countries.
During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the Company added the Stamford Marriott Hotel and the Stamford Town Center Regional Mall, the first of its kind in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.
In the early 1980’s, F. D. “Rick” Rich III, Susan M. Rich and Thomas L. Rich joined the company and were involved in many substantial development projects including Coldspring New Town in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the Burnt Store Marina Resort and Condominium, which included the largest marina on the west coast of Florida.
Between 1984 and 1991 through their Boston subsidiary, they were involved in significant development projects which included the one million square foot Commonwealth Center, later developed by Millennium Partners as the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Condominium Towers along with an expansive Reebok Fitness Center.
Ultimately, the renewal effort launched by F.D. Rich and the City of Stamford led to the construction of more than 20 buildings comprising seven million square feet of offices, hotels, apartments and retail stores. The downtown area has been completely reinvigorated and has emerged as the State of Connecticut’s epicenter of commerce, culture, education and urban living.
Since 1996, under the direction of Thomas L. Rich, the Company continues to thrive and is active throughout Fairfield County. More recent Stamford projects include the development of the six-screen Bow Tie Majestic Cinema, the downtown Stamford Target Super Store, the Courtyard by Marriott and the 170 unit Trump Parc Stamford condominium which, at 35 stories, is by far the city’s tallest building.
In addition to shaping the Stamford skyline, the Rich family has continually played a pivotal role in shaping the city’s cultural landscape. Largely through the vision and tireless efforts of Frank D. Rich Jr., the Stamford Center for the Arts and the Rich Forum were brought to life. Mr. Rich also worked successfully to establish a thriving downtown branch of the University of Connecticut where the main atrium and assembly space is named the Rich Concourse.
Through the Rich Foundation, the Rich family continues to support the arts, education and healthcare. A major gift to the new Mill River Park was recently announced where one of the cafes will be aptly named the Rich Pantry
After more than a century of commitment and almost 50 years of urban renewal, the F. D. Rich Company continues to be one of the most influential developers in the state of Connecticut.
F.D. Rich Company….a rich history of city building.