It’s impossible to untangle the legacy of Norman Ebenstein from his involvement in the development of Eden Center just outside of Washington, D.C. However, the developer had a rich career that brought to fruition several high-profile properties around the country. In fact, several of Ebenstein’s developments became cultural hubs celebrating the art, cuisine, and roots of local populations. Ebenstein was also a philanthropist. Take a look at the career and personal highlights of one of America’s most successful property developers.
A Property Mogul Is Born: The Early Life of Ebenstein at a Glance
Most people know Ebenstein as the founder of Capital Commercial Properties. However, his story starts all the way back in 1920s New York. The future mogul was born on Oct. 23 of 1928 to parents named Samuel and Jeannette Ebenstein. Ebenstein’s parents made a move from the Big Apple to the city of Worcester, Massachusetts, shortly after their son’s birth.
After completing his studies at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, Ebenstein moved on to Brown University to study economics. He then began law studies at Boston University Law School after obtaining his undergraduate degree. In fact, Ebenstein enjoyed law so much that he worked as a lawyer for several years before making the leap to the world of property development.
A Career That Would Become Legendary
Ebenstein eventually founded Capital Commercial Properties. The fact that Ebenstein served as the president of the firm for 50 years is a testimony to the fact that being at the helm of a development enterprise that was shaping neighborhoods was his true passion. During his 50-year career as president of Capital, Ebenstein oversaw the development of countless properties along the East Coast. Capital’s roster of completed projects includes malls, shopping centers, residential developments and commercial properties.
Many people consider the development of Eden Center in 1984 to be the crown jewel of Ebenstein’s lengthy career. Those in Ebenstein’s close circle also believe that this project was the pride of his professional life. Located in a Virginia city called Falls Church that is just 20 minutes outside of the District of Columbia, Eden Center is a remarkable commercial district that is home to more than 120 restaurants, shops, supermarkets, offices, jewelry stores and more. What makes this shopping district especially remarkable is that most of the businesses are owned by local families. Eden Center caters to the area’s Asian American population. Most locals know it as the best place in the country for enjoying delicious Vietnamese meals and specialties! The list of notable properties managed by Capital Commercial Properties today also includes:
- Javier Road in Fairfax, Virginia.
- Stoneymill Square in Silver Springs, Maryland.
- Timonium Square in Timonium, Maryland.
- Hillandale Shopping Center in Silver Springs, Maryland.
- Bel Air Plaza Shopping Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
- Sullivan Place Retail in Alexandria, Virginia.
Ebenstein also left plenty of room for philanthropy in his long and enduring career. In addition to supporting a long roster of not-for-profit organizations, Ebenstein also founded his own foundation. The Ebenstein Foundation continues to support a wide variety of philanthropic activities even after Ebenstein’s death.
A Family Man
Ebenstein found time to carve out a robust family life during his fast-paced career. It was during his time at Brown that he met his wife. Norman and Shirley were married for 65 years. The couple also raised a daughter and son. At the time of his death in 2016, Ebenstein had two grandchildren.
Conclusion: A Legacy That Endures
Ebenstein passed away in December of 2016 at the age of 88. However, the legacy of his 50-year career at the head of Capital Commercial Properties will endure for generations. His role in developing Eden Center has solidified his place in history due to the neighborhood’s rich cultural impact on the Washington, D.C. area.
While reading about the life of Ebenstein is inspiring, people who want to truly understand the developer’s impact on the world should visit Eden Center in Falls Church outside of the District of Columbia for themselves! A wonderland of flavors and experiences, this neighborhood is regarded as one of the best spots on the East Coast for enjoying authentic Vietnamese pho! A highlight of Eden Center is the Eden Center Clock Tower. This beautiful structure was created to be an exact replica of the tower in downtown Saigon.