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Landmark Buildings You Can Invest in


The owners of the Empire State Building are creating a $1 billion real estate investment trust out of the crown of the New York City skyline. Empire State Realty Trust will begin trading later this year on the New York Stock Exchange. If you buy shares in the REIT, which will also include a dozen lesser New York properties, you'll essentially be a part-owner of what is arguably the world's most famous office tower.

Empire State won't be a sure winner. The building is in the midst of hundreds of millions of dollars in critical, overdue renovations. It is currently only two-thirds filled, mostly with small and midsize tenants, whose rents are far below the average for midtown Manhattan. The building houses no notable corporate headquarters or major investment companies.

Still, from a bragging-rights perspective, the opportunity to say you own a piece of this legendary building is intriguing. Turns out that there are a bunch of other landmarks, foreign or American, that you can own through REITs, regular stocks or the American depositary receipts of overseas-based companies. Here, besides King Kong's cinematic aerie on 34th Street, are 11 investor-owned landmarks, listed by property name and in alphabetical order.

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