Mic in talks to move to 1 WTC

Lease for 82nd floor puts media startup in pricey territory
By Konrad Putzier | December 16, 2015 04:30PM

Mic check mic check!

Media company Mic is close to signing a lease on the 82nd floor of One World Trade Center, according to sources familiar with the talks.

Winning over Mic, which runs the popular millennial-focused news site mic.com, is a coup for the Durst Organization. The developer has struggled to fill the $3.9 billion, 3.5-million-square-foot tower it built in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The deal, if it were to go through, would also highlight Lower Manhattan’s emergence as a popular destination for media companies. Publishing giant Conde Nast has leased 1 million square feet on the lower floors of 1 WTC, while Time Inc. and the Observer Media recently signed deals to move to Brookfield Place and 1 Whitehall Street, respectively. Vox Media is moving to Nearby 85 Broad Street.

While lower Manhattan is no longer a surprising choice for a media startup, it is puzzling that Mic is leasing space on such a high floor. Rents above the 80th floor of 1 WTC go as high as $100 per square foot, according to previous news reports – more than double Lower Manhattan’s average office rent of around $45 per square foot. Office space in that price range typically goes to law firms or hedge funds, rather than startups in the notoriously unprofitable media sector.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Mic is getting any rent concessions. The Durst Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Cushman & Wakefield’s Tara Stacom, who handles leasing at One World Trade Center, did not return calls, while Mic declined to comment.

Last month, ad firm adX doubled its footprint at 1 WTC to more than 80,000 square feet. In September, Crain’s reported that Chinese firm Vantone Industrial is looking to slash its space in the tower by 85 percent from 202,000 square feet to 31,344 square feet.