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New York City (AFP) – New York City’s iconic Empire State Building went public Wednesday as part of a real estate trust traded for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the landmark skyscraper and 17 other buildings in the New York area, rose a modest 2.9 percent to $13.38 at midday after being introduced to the markets at an IPO price of $13 a share.

The company sold 71.5 million shares raising $929.5 million. Another 10.7 million shares could be offered in the next month.

It was trading under the “ESRT” ticker.

The Malkin family, which controls the Empire State Building, filed initial papers to take the venture public in February 2012. However, the effort was delayed for several months due to legal wrangling.

At 381 meters (1,250 feet) and 102 floors, the art deco-style building is one of New York City’s most popular tourist destinations and the city’s second tallest building since the May 2013 opening of One World Trade Center, which reaches 541 meters.

It was the world’s tallest building from its opening in 1931 until 1974, when the 442-meter Sears Tower was completed in Chicago.

Photo Credit: AFP/Timothy A. Clary

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