Charities Will Benefit from Empire State IPO Money


(Photo: Al Barbarino)
(Photo: Al Barbarino)

The battle to turn the Empire State Building into part of a public REIT was highly contentious, but few will criticize the causes that $660 million of last month’s IPO proceeds will be used for.

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The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which will receive the majority of the proceeds from the Empire State Realty Trust’s IPO and will use the giant lump of money to expand its educational and medical funding, Crain’s reported.

The organization has more than tripled its number of employees to 65 in less than two years to fund the grant programs and will soon begin providing grants to support education and human-services efforts and expand its education focus outside of New York City and across the country, donating $255 million during the fiscal year started in April, according to the report.

Rich McKeon, the trust’s education program director, said that 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards,  is providing grants to support teachers so they can meet the new standards.

The trust’s past work helped finance research that discovered 20 different types of bacteria that are present in the gut of someone with Crohn’s Disease, and in the past gave $33 million to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America $33 million, as well as $2.5 million to diabetes researcher Dr. Mark Atkinson, who studies type 1 diabetes.