You Can Buy a Piece of the Empire State Building Now

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The Empire State Building, one of the world's most iconic buildings, is viewed on November 30, 2011 in New York City. Malkin Holdings LLC., the family-owned company that supervises the portfolio of office properties that includes the Empire State Building, has filed notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission acknowledging that it may become a publicly traded company. The filing could pave the way for an Initial Public Offering, or IPO, thus making the Empire State Building part of a publicly traded real estate investment company.
Yours for a song. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The transformation of the Empire State Building from a skyscraper where tourists go to burn $25 apiece on a mediocre skyline view into a publicly owned skyscraper where tourists go to burn $25 apiece on a mediocre skyline view has been in the works for a while. Now it seems to be happening for real:

After more than a year of contentious relations between Malkin Holdings, which has spearheaded the plan, and a small group of investors, holders of more than 80 percent of the units of ownership in the 102-story skyscraper in New York's midtown Manhattan approved the plan to fold the skyscraper into a newly created real estate investment trust called Empire State Realty Trust Inc.

Presumably the post-IPO Empire State Building will be no cooler than the pre-IPO version and will still be overrun with out-of-towners re-creating the scene from Sleepless in Seattle at most hours. But if you really want to, you could buy a single share of the Empire State Realty Trust and then say, "Ah, yes, my building — isn't she a beaut?" to people waiting in line every time you pass by on the street. That might be fun.