The Empire State Building is arguably the most iconic building in New York City. When tourists flock to the city they often make time to take a trip up to the top and look out over the city. When I visited NYC in November 1995 I made sure that the Empire State Building was one of the first items I checked off of my “Things to Do” list. Since that time the building has begun a large-scale green makeover project and now the public will get a chance to own a piece of the building via an upcoming initial public offering (IPO).


Empire State Realty Trust owns the Empire State Building and 11 other properties in the Northeast. The trust is planning an IPO in the coming months. Shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the “ESB” ticker. Paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveal that the company is eyeing the $1 billion mark with its IPO.


According to Forbes, a real estate IPO is not common. “Most real estate ventures—especially those in New York—are traditionally kept private. Throughout the U.S., roughly 90 percent of all real estate is private, analysts say. The notable exception: shopping malls. So, this IPO is certainly a rarity. But should you spring for a share?”


Since I’m not an investment advisor I’ll leave that question to the experts but if you’re interested in investing in an iconic green building then you should definitely keep your eye on the Empire State Realty Trust IPO.


The Empire State Building’s green retrofit began in 2009. In the last few years, building owners have refurbished more than 6,500 windows to boost energy efficiency, added light and air control sensors, launched a tenant energy monitoring program and more.


While the project is making the Empire State Building a more energy efficient facility, the upgrade process is keeping the environment in mind as well. A pictorial on the Empire State Building Sustainability website explains the window refurbishing project in more detail.


  • 6,514 windows were refurbished in an on-site window processing center
  • 96 percent of the existing window glass was reused
  • The new windows are four times more efficient
  • The project created 80 new jobs

For more information on the green retrofit, spend some time browsing the Empire State Building’s Sustainability website.

Interested in investing in an iconic green building?
The Empire State Building and other properties will be available via an IPO in the coming months.