Towering opportunity: Empire State Building shares for sale

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Towering opportunity: Empire State Building shares for sale

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If you have ever fancied buying a bit of one of the world’s most iconic buildings then your chance is coming.

The owners of the Empire State Building in New York have announced that they are going to sell shares in the Art Deco skyscraper to pay off debt and raise more money to continue modernising the 102 story tower.

The plan is to sell $1 billion (756 million euros) worth of shares which will be listed on the New York stock exchange.

Don’t expect to have much say how it is run though; there will be two classes of stock — class A shares being sold to the public will be worth one vote and class B shares will have 50 votes each. That will mean significant control will rest with owners, the Malkin family.

They bought the property in 2002 and, after much wrangling, gained total control in 2010.

The Empire State Building held its own in the New York commercial real estate market — even when Lehman’s bankruptcy sent rents tumbling and tenants negotiated better rates. It was helped in that by the expensive renovations being carried out.

Two years ago, the building’s owners embarked on a $500 million (378 million euro) project to bring the skyscraper to modern environmental standards.

Visited every year by millions of people, it was completed in 1931 and has appeared in many films, including King Kong.