Robert De Niro likes to say he and his partners started the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 to reinvigorate the lower Manhattan economy after the September 11 attacks. On this score, he has been successful--the previous nine festivals have generated nearly $660 million for the city and has attracted approximately 2.3 million visitors. As good as the festival has been for De Niro's community, it's probably been even better for the actor's bank account and investment portfolio.
New York Daily News was wise to this even back in 2007. De Niro first began loading up on Tribeca real estate in the late-1980s, when he and partner Jane Rosenthal bought an old Martinson Coffee warehouse and turned it into the seven-story Tribeca Film Center. Don't let the clinical, vaguely academic sounding name fool you--it's a retail center, a dressed-up version of something people not from Manhattan might (rightly) call an office park. De Niro's restaurant, The Tribeca Grill, occupies the first two levels of the property. Upstairs, there's office space and a screening room available for rent. This where the IFC Independent Spirit Awards are held, but the screen is also available, according to the Tribeca Film Center website, for "your next screening, company meeting, or birthday party." We'd expect nothing less from the man who cashed $20 million paydays for City By The Sea, Godsend, and Hide and Seek.