The Real Deal New York

Murdoch nixes move to Silverstein’s 2 WTC

21st Century Fox and News Corp. will stay put at 1211 and 1185 Sixth Ave.; Silverstein insists he will find replacement tenant soon

January 15, 2016 04:53PM

From left: Rupert Murdoch, 2 World Trade Center (credit: BIG) and Larry Silverstein

From left: Rupert Murdoch, 2 World Trade Center (credit: BIG) and Larry Silverstein

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and News Corp. will not move their New York headquarters to Silverstein Properties’ planned 2 World Trade Center Downtown, raising questions about the future of the Bjarke Ingels-designed office tower that the companies were supposed to anchor.

The media giants “have decided to maintain” their Midtown headquarters at 1211 and 1185 Sixth Avenue, 21st Century Fox and News Corp. confirmed in a joint statement, citing “extension options that could continue or occupancy on Sixth Avenue through 2025. The companies’ current leases run through 2020.

Despite signing a non-binding letter of intent in June to take 1.3 million square feet of office and studio space at 2 World Trade Center and anchor the 2.8 million-square-foot property, top executives at both Fox and News Corp. decided the move “would be a huge distraction for the companies’ global operations,” sources told the New York Post.

A copy of the internal memo sent out to News Corp's employees

A copy of the internal memo sent out to News Corp’s employees

While acknowledging that he was “disappointed” by the decision in a statement, Silverstein Properties chair Larry Silverstein noted his belief that “it won’t be long before we find a great company to anchor 2 World Trade Center.”

But the decision will undoubtedly be a blow for Silverstein Properties, which successfully lobbied for sizable rent subsidies for the Murdoch companies from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and talked up 2 World Trade Center as representing a “new downtown” geared toward creative and media businesses.

Sources told the Post that Fox and News Corp’s 1211 Sixth Avenue landlord Callahan Capital Properties made a “compelling” offer for the companies to remain in their space, including promising building modernization and public space improvements. The tenants are not understood to be negotiating a new lease beyond their five-year extension option, however. [NYP] ­– Rey Mashayekhi

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