The Malkin family, owner of the Empire State Building and other properties in New York and Connecticut, has filed for an initial public offering that will allow the public to own a piece of the storied Art Deco landmark.
The new company, Empire State Realty Trust, is seeking up to $1 billion in funding for control of a dozen office buildings, including the Empire State Building, totaling 7.7 million square feet. It will trade under the symbol ESB and offer Class A common stock to the public. It will also have Class B stock with 50 votes per share.
Anthony Malkin, scion of the real estate family, will be chairman and CEO of the new company.
Empire State Realty had total net income of $71 million and revenue of $382.2 million in the first nine months of 2011, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The Empire State Building contributed $57.7 million in net income on $156.7 million in revenue. The building's 86th-floor-observation deck had revenue of $62.9 million, while its office and retail rents totaled revenue of $71.3 million.
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have outperformed the broader market on the strength of rent growth, particularly in prominent U.S. cities. SL Green and Boston Properties, two rival landlords with major holdings in Manhattan, both beat analysts' expectations in the fourth quarter.
The Malkins acknowledged that leasing in New York was highly competitive, and it was facing new rivals in the skyline, including One World Trade Center, which will have a broadcast antenna and observation deck that could draw traffic away from the Empire State Building.
Vornado Realty Trust's approved 1,216-foot design for 15 Penn Plaza, which Anthony Malkin fought against in 2010, also may provide a significant source of competition for office and retail tenants, due to its close proximity, the filing noted. However, Vornado has not signed any tenants and appears reluctant to begin construction on speculation.
Meanwhile, the Malkins continue a significant renovation program for the Empire State Building, which is expected to be completed in 2016.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs will be the lead underwriters for Empire State Realty Trust's IPO.
The offering will be held as soon as practicable, according to the filing.