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Web Exclusive: Empire State Building goes public

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(CNN) - It's been at the heart of the New York City skyline for more than 80 years -- The Empire State Building, the skyscraper King Kong tried to conquer where star crossed lovers met in Sleepless in Seattle and where Jay Z and Alicia Keys find themselves in "An Empire State of Mind." Now, this star attraction makes its debut at another iconic building, The New York Stock Exchange 

The Empire State Building is not going public alone. It is part of a basket of properties owned by a company called the Empire State Realty trust, that are  bundled into one IPO.

The path to the NYSE has not been easy. Some private investors didn't want an IPO. But real estate watchers say the building's made money for investors before, and could do so again. 

"People 50 years ago bought into the Empire State Building. People 10 years ago, people 20 years ago have bought into the ownership structure and they've all made money because Manhattan real estate has been a winning bet, an upward trajectory. Certainly the Empire State Building has appreciated and I think that if you have a long-term ownership hold, you will make money," says Daniel Geiger, Crain's New York Business.

That is, of course, if demand for New York City real estate holds up. Indeed, the 102 story Empire State Building has seen its share of economic challenges over the years. Completed in 1931, in the midst of the depression, it recently underwent a top to bottom renovation attracting new tenants like social media firm LinkedIn. 

One big draw for investors-- the tens of millions of dollars in revenue that comes in from the world famous observation deck where you may run into a couple tying the knot or movie stars, like Uggie the dog. So, don't listen if someone has a bridge they want to sell you, but investing in the empire state building? Analysts say you could see the shares climb.
 

 

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