NEW YORK — The company that owns the Empire State Building is a step closer to going public. More than 80 percent of shareholders approved a plan to turn the privately held company into a publicly traded real estate trust.
The plan, spearheaded by father-and-son real estate magnates Peter and Anthony Malkin, could raise up to $1 billion by selling stock in a new company, Empire State Realty Trust, that would include the Malkins’ holdings in Manhattan and Connecticut.
Millions of tourists each year ascend the 102-story Art Deco skyscraper to view the city from its observation deck, made famous in films such as ‘‘King Kong’’ and ‘‘Sleepless in Seattle.’’
When the building changed hands in 1961, the buyers sold 1,100 shares at $10,000 each. Some of the 3,300 investors were ordinary New Yorkers.
The proposed public offering values the shares at more than $300,000 each.