Following merger, Viacom could sell CBS’ Midtown HQ

ViacomCBS seeks $500M in cost savings

TRD New York /
Dec.December 10, 2019 08:44 AM
51 West 52nd Street and ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

51 West 52nd Street and ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

After merging with CBS for the second time in twenty years, Viacom is once again considering a sale of CBS’ 38-story Midtown headquarters.

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish announced Monday that the newly formed media conglomerate had tapped CBRE to review its entire real estate portfolio, Bloomberg reported. The company aims to cut costs by $500 million.

No price was indicated for the 1965 skyscraper, designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. When Viacom first purchased CBS in 1999, it reportedly looked to sell the landmarked building for $370 million, but no deal ever materialized. The two firms split in 2006.

CBS Corporation was ranked by The Real Deal as Manhattan’s 19th-largest office tenant in 2017, with a total of 1.57 million square feet. Last year, the company sold its Television City studio in Los Angeles for $750 million in a leaseback arrangement with Hackman Capital Partners.

CBS occupies about a third of the 870,000-square-foot building at 51 West 52nd Street, nicknamed “Black Rock.” Another major tenant is prestigious law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which renewed its 250,000-square-foot lease with the broadcaster last year. Wachtell Lipton advised CBS in 2016 when talks of a merger with Viacom resurfaced.

Meanwhile, Viacom’s headquarters are located at SL Green Realty and Allianz’s 1515 Broadway near Times Square, home to the Minskoff Theatre. The conglomerate occupies 1.6 million of that building’s 1.9 million square feet following a 2012 expansion. [Bloomberg] — Kevin Sun


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