For Sale: Empire State Building – Okay ConditionBy: Shawn Hess - February 14, 2012
Would you like to own a piece of American history? Empire State reality, the company who currently owns the massive structure, is going public with the Empire State Building. Their goal is to raise $1 billion with the offering. The capital that is generated will go towards covering the expenses of the IPO, repaying past loans, and financing future acquisitions.
After the collapse of the World Trade Center during the September 11th attacks, the Empire State Building took back its title of New York City’s tallest building. Millions of tourists visit the building every year. The structure dates back to the depression as it was finished in 1932 and it was previously owned by celebrity entrepreneur Donald Trump. Now investors can own a piece of American heritage and contribute to the preservation of an icon.
But what is the real value of the building? Head of U.S. REITS at Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc., Rob Stevenson explains:
“You can’t find too many buildings in this country that are more iconic than the Empire State Building, but if you’re talking about a trophy building — that’s definitely not the Empire State Building.”
Let’s see what others are thinking about the deal:
I wonder what it’s like to OWN such an iconic piece of the New York City skyline as the Empire State Building? Must be a sweet life.
— Nikita (@NikitaBombita) February 13, 2012
— Jim Pfeiffer (@jpfeiffernh) February 13, 2012
I know what I want for Christmas next year…Empire State Building IPO: It’s No King Kong – Forbes onforb.es/w8si7I
— Karl Klein(@Karl_the_3rd) February 14, 2012
— Maxwell Hubert (@TeeDotYankee) February 14, 2012
The current owners of the building have invested over $500 million since 2009 in an effort to modernize the building, but the project still isn’t finished and will require a lot more time and money to get it up to par. While commercial real estate in New York has seen a resurgence, it does’t seem like this would be anything more than an investment in American history for stockholders. Nothing about about the property says moneymaker or cash cow; maybe some investors can afford to add a novelty stock to their portfolio, but to me, it doesn’t seem like a wise investment. We’ll see what the future brings.