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King Kong


Last week, the Wall Street Journal featured an article in its Wednesday “Property Report” about the emergence of four new Big Apple skyscrapers that are out to challenge the Empire State Building’s stature as the go-to Manhattan observatory.

The biggest among them is One World Trade Center, followed by 30 Rockefeller Center and then two structures that are yet to be delivered to the skyline—One Vanderbilt, next to Grand Central Terminal, and 30 Hudson Yards on the city’s West Side. I am confident that all of these new entrants will provide some of the best views in Manhattan.

However, they do not possess one key differentiator: They are not iconic.

The Empire State Building is one of a kind. You can build taller, but you cannot replace the power of an icon.

Real estate is all about location and differentiation. The Empire State Building is not only smack-dab in the center of Manhattan, but it’s history is as amazing as the views it provides. After all, who can forget King Kong’s memorable climb up the tower’s façade in 1933?


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