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.