Who Owns the Empire State Building?

on Aug 9, 2016 in Architecture

The Empire State Building is one of the most popular buildings within the United States and the world. This building was erected in 1931 and it was the tallest structure in the world up until 1970. Currently it is ranked as the fifth tallest structure within the U.S. and the 29th tallest in the world.

Many people probably wonder who actually owns the Empire State Building and the simple answer to that question is that no one single person owns this massive structure. The simple answer to this question is that the building is owned by a major New York based real estate company named Empire State Realty Trust. This particular real estate organization has owned the Empire State Building since 2013.

Former Real Estate Owners

When the Empire State Building was first constructed it belonged to John J. Raskob and Pierre S. du Pont. Raskob was the primary owner of the building and his name is the most remembered between the two owners. Raskob held onto the building until 1951 when he sold it to Roger L. Stevens and his business partners.

Keep in mind that the Empire State Building was a huge success in terms of engineering significance and its location. This building was designed in an upscale location of New York and was frequented by many great American leaders, national celebrities and international personalities. However, the building was not making a profit for Raskob and his associates. So they had no choice but to sell it in the early 50’s.

Once Roger L. Stevens purchased the building he sold it to one of his partners named Colonel Crown. Once Crown purchased the building in 1954 he held onto to it until 1961 when he sold it to Harry B. Helmsley, Lawrence A. Wien and his son-in-law Peter Malkin. They resold the building to Prudential Insurance for $29 million.

Prudential Insurance held onto the building all the way until 1991. They then sold the Empire State Building to Oliver Grace Jr for $42 million. It was later revealed that Grace Jr. had secretly purchased this building for Hideki Yokoi, a Japanese hotelier, who was serving out a prison sentence for a deadly fire at one of his hotels. So, the sale was not valid.

Donald Trump Era

Believe it or not, the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, was the real estate agent who brokered deals for of the Empire State Building. Trump worked closely with Hideki Yokoi’s daughter, Kiiko Nakahara, to take the Empire State from Malkin and his associates. This happened in 1995 and a 7-year court battle over this issue took place.

Malkin had died in 1997 and over the course of the next 5-years they managed to obtain Malkin’s control of the Empire State Building. They sell their share for $57.5 million to Helmsley – Spear. The Malkin’s reclaim the building back in 2006.

By 2012 the Malkin’s decided to publicly trade the Empire State Building, but they were opposed. Eventually, the building was acquired by the current owners, Empire State Realty Trust Inc. who got the building by publicly trading it. Empire State Reality Trust Inc. has been managing the building since 2013.