Transformation of an American Icon

In 2013 the Empire State Building, a symbol of American business, prosperity, and industry, became publicly owned as a part of the Empire State Realty Trust (ERST) IPO. Taking the company public was a long-time goal of ERST chairman and CEO Anthony Malkin. Malkin first joined the company in 1989 in a temporary capacity when it was still a family business called Wein & Malkin. After his father, Peter Malkin, asked him to join the business permanently, Anthony Malkin had only one condition: the family business had to become a professionally run business. Nearly 20 years after deciding to stay on with the company, Anthony Malkin finally celebrated his goal with the October 2013 public offering of Empire State Realty Trust.

The journey to the successful IPO was a long one for Malkin and the company. Though Malkin publicly voiced his intentions for the company in 2011, it took two years of negotiations with investors and owners for the plan to come to fruition. After working with unitholders and owners to reach agreements, Malkin was finally able to rebrand the company and list as a real estate investment trust.

The initial offering raised $929.5 million and sold over 71.5 million shares. A big draw for investors is the flagship property of ERST: the Empire State Building. Though not the tallest building in New York, the Empire State Building has a deep connection with American business ideals and lies in the heart of the city that never sleeps. At the time of the IPO, the Empire State Building’s occupancy was 77.8% occupied. After extensive renovations and care from ERST, the building’s occupancy has climbed to 89.8% leased in 2015. Anthony Malkin and ERST have put years of energy and hundreds of millions of dollars ($550 million, to be exact) into renovating the building to achieve LEED Gold certification. The renovations were expected to save $4.4 million in energy costs annually.

Anthony Malkin is now working on diversifying ERST’s portfolio to build their other properties to the level of success of the Empire State Building. A collection of their buildings located on Broadway St. are now known as “Times Square South” thanks to the efforts to grow and expand business and commerce to other areas of the city. After only two years as a public company and an impressive list of successes, ERST is sure to be a big name in NYC real estate for years to come.

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