High Midtown South rents may force the Nation magazine Downtown

"It's highly likely we will get priced out," magazine's president says

Dec.December 23, 2014 02:16 PM

The Nation, a progressive voice in the country for nearly 150 years, is facing a steep rent increase and may have to move to Lower Manhattan when its lease expires in 2016.

The magazine’s office is located on the eighth floor of the 174,000-square-foot 33 Irving Place at the corner of 16th Street in the Gramercy portion of Midtown South. The asking rent for the space, $63 per foot, is about double what the Nation is currently paying, the publication’s president Teresa Stack told The Real Deal.

The Nation’s lease expires in September 2016, but the space was listed earlier this month on the website of the industry database CoStar Group with an available occupancy in August 2015.

Stack denied the firm would move in 2015, in part because it is the publisher’s 150th anniversary in July. But the following year could bring a relocation.

The Nation, which has been in its current location since 1998, is confronting the same strong rental market that retail tenants like the Union Square Cafe have seen in ground-floor rents. Asking rents in Midtown South were $58.08 per foot in the third quarter of this year, figures from commercial firm Cushman & Wakefield show. That is almost double the asking rent in 2003, which was slightly more than $30 per foot.

“A lot of publishers are moving Downtown, and that is where the affordable deals are,” Stack said. “We love the space, we love the neighborhood, and we have time. But it is highly likely we will get priced out.”

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Michael Dreizen represents the landlord, which city records show is an affiliate of the Virginia-based Belvedere Management. Dreizen did not respond to a request for comment.

The magazine hired Cassidy Turley’s Susan Kahaner and Jennifer Ogden to advise on the search. They did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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