IAN KEAN (1946 - 2017)

Obituary
5 entries
  • "I would appreciate any of his family would get in touch..."
    - Arthur Kean
  • "Ian a true gentleman, and tremendous gift in my life. He..."
    - Philip Scarborough
  • "Ian was such a wonderful gentleman. Stephen and I will miss..."
  • "Good Morning. I just received a note about Ian MacKay Kean..."
    - Arthur Kean
  • "Ian was a wonderful man who will be missed by me and many..."
    - Ann Kritzer
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KEAN--Ian MacKay.

Real Estate Innovator. Ian MacKay Kean, prolific developer of historically important properties, died at home in West Palm Beach, Florida, on February 12, 2017. He was 70 years old and passed peacefully in the company of family and friends, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Mr. Kean is remembered for his development of some of the country's highest profile retail properties. He had a unique skill for restoring and transforming historically grand spaces into commercial successes. Among his most noteworthy projects were landmarked properties, including the "Rhinelander Mansion," located on Madison Avenue in New York City (the flagship store of Polo/Ralph Lauren); the "Barney's building" located on O'Farrell Street in San Francisco's Union Square (formerly the West Coast headquarters of renowned toy store FAO Schwarz); and, the Via Mizner, located on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, which was originally designed by Addison Mizner and is home to some of the most prestigious shops and residences in the area. Mr. Kean was born on July 3, 1946, in London, England to Robert Kean and Isabella Marion Kean. He graduated with Honours from the University of Nottingham in Nottinghamshire, England, and matriculated for a year at The London School of Economics before emigrating to the United States in 1969 to begin his career at Chemical Bank. Mr. Kean's passion, creativity in deal making, ability to resolve complex issues, and eye for unique opportunities drove him to the upper tier of the real estate investment community, working at leading firms, such as Eastdil Realty and Sentinel Real Estate (formerly Smith Barney Real Estate, later Security Capital Real Estate). Fulfilling his entrepreneurial dream, Mr. Kean subsequently formed his own firm, Aston Development, and pursued a series of ambitious and highly successful projects in major urban markets throughout the U.S., many of which were financed in partnership with the family of Saudi Arabia's Sheikh A. L. Jameel. It was at Aston, that Mr. Kean did his most impressive work. Mr. Kean's sale of the Rhinelander Mansion, for example, set a high-water mark for price per square foot in the retail market in New York City. At one point, Aston controlled more than 10% of the downtown Dallas office market, including the Southland Center. And, during his 30 year ownership of the Via Mizner, Mr. Kean faithfully restored the property in its Mediterranean Revival style and permanently altered both the appearance and the shopping experience of Worth Avenue, Palm Beach's premier shopping destination. At once worldly and modest, with an infectious laugh and a refined sense of style, Mr. Kean, will be remembered by friends and protegees as a loyal mentor to many who subsequently enjoyed significant professional success. Later in life, through his role as an active sponsor in a number of twelve-step programs, he supported dozens on their road to recovery. Mr. Kean was also an active contributor to the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, where he served as a facilitator and speaker for numerous years. Mr. Kean is survived by immediate family members, brother and sister-in-law Robert and Heather Kean of Vancouver, Canada, sister Isabel Kean of West Palm Beach, Florida, and nephew Douglas Kean of Vancouver, Canada. In addition, Ian lovingly counted among "family" his long time close friends, Peter Echevarria, Alex Castillo, Vivienne Maclean, Georgeann Dowdle Shenton and Christopher Wofford. Memorial Services will be held at Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach at 2pm on March 25, 2017. In lieu of flowers, donations to the or Alcoholics Anonymous are suggested.

Published in The New York Times on Feb. 26, 2017
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