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Manhattan's Empire State Building is one of the most iconic office buildings in the U.S.


The Empire State Building, the most famous office building in the United States, is set to become the jewel in a new publicly traded company, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday.

Malkin Holdings LLC, which controls Empire State Building Associates LLC, said in a filing that it has embarked "on a course of action that could result in the company becoming part of a newly formed public REIT (real estate investment trust)."

The information was brief as the company has not officially filed for an IPO.

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The Malkin family gained control of the 102-story icon in April 2002, when it created Empire State Land Associates and bought the landmark at 350 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and the land under it for $57.5 million (U.S.).

Two years ago, the building's owners embarked on a $500-million project to bring the skyscraper, completed in 1931, to modern environmental standards. The tower was built on the former site of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It was the world's tallest building until 1973 when the World Trade Center was erected.

Last year, the Malkins unsuccessfully fought a zoning proposal that will allow Vornado Realty Trust to build a tower nearly as tall as the Empire State Building just two blocks to the west on the Hotel Pennsylvania site. The proposed tower at 15 Penn Plaza will rise 305 metres, just 18.3 metres shorter than the Empire State Building's observation deck.

The New York Times reported the REIT could also include two other office buildings controlled by Peter Malkin and his son Anthony Malkin. Those buildings are 1 Grand Central, a 55-storey office building across from Grand Central Terminal and 250 West 57th St, which is 26 storeys high.

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