You Can Buy a Piece of the Empire State Building Now

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.