With split in works, News Corp. could alter Midtown office space

July 02, 2012 09:30AM

As News Corp. contemplates splitting its entertainment and publishing divisions into two separate entities, the company’s space at 1211 Sixth Avenue is the subject of intrigue for the first time in years. According to the Wall Street Journal, if separated, the two businesses might cease to operate under the same roof once their 1.9 million-square-foot lease expires in 2020.

While Rupert Murdoch has resisted housing his newspapers in less expensive real estate — and even moved the Journal to Midtown upon acquiring it — that might change when its financial performance isn’t masked by the entertainment business’ large profits. It might not be able to afford the high, $75 to $80 per square-foot Rents It Currently Pays On Sixth Avenue, and instead opt for cheaper space downtown.

“If you read the tea leaves, you could see one building being the News Corp.-Fox building and the other being The Wall Street Journal building,” said Ken Doctor, an analyst at Outsell.

Currently, CBRE is also looking for space for two News Corp. divisions not located at 1211 Sixth Avenue. HarperCollins’ 240,000-square-foot lease at 10 East 53rd Street expires in 2014 and Wireless Generation is looking to move from 55 Washington Street in Dumbo. They could sign for space at two other buildings leased by News Corp.: 1185 Sixth Avenue and 1155 Sixth Avenue. [WSJ]