Empire State Building IPO Would Sell Landmark to Public

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Edelman contends the 2,800 owners would be better off retaining the existing ownership structure. "It's better the way it is," he says. "We own the most famous building in the world."

Its financial health, he says, is only getting better: A $600 million renovation and improvement program, when completed, should allow the building to replace existing tenants, he thinks, with new ones paying twice as much rent. "So, it won't just be the most famous building in the world, but the most profitable in the world."

The Empiree state Building was the largest skyscraper in the world until it was surpassed by the World Trade Center in 1973. With that building's destruction in the terror attacks of 2001, Empire State was once again the tallest in the city. It has now been surpassed by the new ground zero building which will top out at 1,776 feet. That compares with Empire State's 1,454 feet.

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