NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Forest City Enterprises  (FCE.A) rose more than 9% to a 52-week high of $24.74 in morning trading Wednesday after the company announced Tuesday its board of directors had approved a plan to begin conversion to real estate investment trust (REIT) status.

Forest City expects to elect REIT status for its taxable year starting January 1, 2016.

"Today's announcement marks a major milestone for the future of Forest City," said Charles A. Ratner, Forest City chairman of the board, in a company statement. "The directors reached this decision after extensive due diligence and thorough analysis of various alternatives. We believe the REIT structure supports our strategic direction as a company and enhances our ability to create long-term shareholder value."

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FCE.A Chart FCE.A data by YCharts

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