Empire State Building owner concerned over “PR bruise” from Trump travel ban

Los Angeles /
Apr.April 27, 2017 11:30 AM

From TRD New York: Empire State Realty Trust’s CEO Anthony Malkin said he is worried Donald Trump’s travel ban could hurt tourism in New York.

“It’s very clear that we absolutely have a concern about reported incidents” of travelers bypassing the U.S., Malkin said during the real estate investment trust’s quarterly earnings call Thursday.

The REIT gets a big chunk of its revenue from the Empire State Building’s observation deck which in turn relied on a steady flow of tourists. Still, Malkin said his company is unlikely to be impacted by the travel ban. “We do take some comfort in the fact, apart from the P.R. bruise the U.S. takes, (…) that not many people from those countries are visitors to the Empire State Building observatory,” he said.

Observatory revenues in the first quarter fell 1.4 percent compared to a year earlier, which the REIT blames on “unfavorable weather conditions.”

Earlier this month, Marriott International’s CEO Arne Sorenson told a company gathering that the travel ban, which impacts a handful of Muslim-majority countries, hurt the hotel industry and is “not good, period.”

Malkin also addressed the possibility that Empire State Realty trust could merge with another company or go private, although he cautioned that neither is likely at the moment. “For me to give up control of our balance sheet, it would have to be to someone in whom I have tremendous confidence,” he said. Malkin added that he had had several conversations about potential mergers or acquisitions this week alone, but claims none concerned a potential takeover of ESRT by another company.

Analysts have been predicting an uptick in REIT mergers and privatizations, in part because several trusts trade at a discount to the value of their properties, making them a bargain. Proposed changes to the tax code could also undermine the financial advantage of keeping a company public. New York REIT last year announced that it would liquidate itself by selling its buildings in the private market.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
State Senator Scott Weiner is the primary author of Senate Bill 9 (Getty, California Legislative)
Study: California’s “upzoning” bill would not lead to widespread redevelopment
Study: California’s “upzoning” bill would not lead to widespread redevelopment
Redcar Properties CEO Jim Jacobsen with Dynasty Center (Google Maps, Industry Partners)
Redcar buys Dynasty shopping center in Chinatown
Redcar buys Dynasty shopping center in Chinatown
Sandstone Properties CEO Eri Kroh with a rendering of the project (Sandstone, The Jeff Hotel)
Culver City approves `The Jeff,’ Sandstone Properties’ 175-unit hotel
Culver City approves `The Jeff,’ Sandstone Properties’ 175-unit hotel
Apple delays return to office by a month
Apple delays return to office by a month
Apple delays return to office by a month
Stos Partners Principal CJ Stos and 159 N San Antonio Avenue 
Stos Partners pays $22M for Pomona warehouse
Stos Partners pays $22M for Pomona warehouse
The assistance is available to theaters with fewer than 99 seats (Getty)
California lawmakers set aside $50M in massive state budget to aid small theaters
California lawmakers set aside $50M in massive state budget to aid small theaters
Nury Martinez (Getty)
LA’s acting mayor-to-be is affordable housing advocate and “pro-development”
LA’s acting mayor-to-be is affordable housing advocate and “pro-development”
Photo illustration of Mayor Eric Garcetti (Getty, iStock)
Garcetti exits LA, with a Downtown transformed by development, stung by scandal
Garcetti exits LA, with a Downtown transformed by development, stung by scandal
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...