Empire State Building Feud Heads to Court

April 29, 2013

Ownership of New York’s 102-story landmark will be battled out in court this week.

New York real estate investors Peter L. Malkin and Anthony E. Malkin control the tower but are minority owners. They are nearing a deal—valued at $5.2 billion—that would offer them public shares in 19 properties, including the Empire State Building, The New York Times reports. The Malkins have gone on an investor-by-investor appeal, persuading about 75 percent of the building’s approximate 3,000 stakeholders so far to vote in favor of going public. 

But the decision of whether the Malkins’ plans are legal rests with the courts. 

Some stakeholders in the Empire State Building are opposed to the deal and have filed a lawsuit in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan to stop it. They claim that the agreement violates state law. The case will be heard this week. 

“Under the agreement, once the Malkins achieve 80 percent approval, anyone who voted against it has 10 days to switch, or they could receive only $100 for their share,” The New York Times reports. “The offering values the share at about $323,000 each. Opponents argue that state law requires that the Malkins pay ‘fair value’ for all shares.” 

Critics of the Malkins’ plan argue that the deal could harm the value of investors’ shares and expose them to tax liabilities, The New York Times reports. 

Source: “A Nasty, Epic Real Estate Battle with Stakes 102 Stories High,” The New York Times (April 28, 2013)