The water view from the grounds of the Seal Harbor estate known as “Ringing Point.” ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Rales purchases Rockefeller home: $19M asking price met

MOUNT DESERT — Ringing Point, the Seal Harbor summer home of David Rockefeller Sr., who died last year at 101, has been purchased by seasonal resident Mitchell Rales, the Islander has confirmed.

The Knowles Company real estate agency in Northeast Harbor announced last week that the property had been sold for the asking price of $19 million and that the closing date was Feb. 2. The Knowles Company did not identify the buyer.

“Vanity Fair” magazine reported in its Dec. 20 issue that Rales had bought the Rockefeller property, but that had not been independently verified until Tuesday, when it was confirmed by an informed source who requested anonymity.

Ringing Point is 16.35 acres of oceanfront property on Cooksey Drive with a main house and three other buildings. It is assessed for tax purposes at $9.2 million, which is less than half the sale price.

Rockefeller’s will stipulated that many of his assets, including homes and a vast art collection, were to be sold and the proceeds given to about a dozen designated nonprofit organizations and institutions that he had long supported.

Those included the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve, which he and his late wife, Peggy, founded, and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Other major beneficiaries are New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller University, and Harvard University and its David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

Rales purchased the Rockefeller property through a limited liability corporation, Ringing Point LLC, according to the Hancock County Registry of Deeds.

Rales is the co-founder, with his brother Steven, of Danaher Corporation, which manufactures a wide range of industrial, professional and consumer products.

He owns a summer residence on Peabody Drive between Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor that is assessed for tax purposes at $16.6 million. According to “Forbes” magazine, his estimated net worth in 2017 was $3.4 billion.

Rales is a founding member of the board of directors of Mount Desert 365, a nonprofit organization created last year to promote economic development and create affordable workforce housing in the town.

Last year, Rales and Bar Harbor restaurant owner Michael Boland purchased the popular Islesford Dock restaurant on Little Cranberry Island.



Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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