A true American icon — New York's Empire State Building — is set to go up for sale.
The owners of the famous Fifth Avenue skyscraper plan to launch a "roadshow" this week to seek buyers for the 102-story landmark.
The building and 18 others owned by Malkin Holdings will be sold through one of the largest real-estate initial public offerings in history, reports The Wall Street Journal
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The family hopes to raise $1 billion in what would be the second largest U.S.-based real estate investment trusts ever.
Joel Beam, who buys REITs for the Forward Select Income Fund, told The Wall Street Journal the sale will get "sex appeal" for both its size and because it includes the building that has been featured in dozens of movies such as "King Kong," "An Affair to Remember," and "Sleepless in Seattle."
Several New York investors have been trying to buy the building for some time, making bids even after its 2,800 stockholders gave the Malkins permission in May for the IPO. The family said they reviewed the bids and rejected them, drawing criticism from some stakeholders.
Joseph Sitt, a Brooklyn investor who owns other Fifth Avenue properties, made a $1.4 billion offer on the building just last week, even though his first bids were rejected. Sitt's offer was above the appraised value of $1.3 billion for the company that owns the building.
Meanwhile, the Malkins are overseeing a $550 million renovation project at the skyscraper. As a result, revenues have reportedly already doubled for the first 20 floors that have been renovated.
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