CBS pulls $1B Black Rock tower listing

Media giant wants to wait until prospective buyers can visit the Sixth Avenue building

Mar.March 19, 2020 09:00 AM
The Black Rock bulding at 51 West 52nd Street and Viacom CEO Bob Bakish (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

The Black Rock bulding at 51 West 52nd Street and Viacom CEO Bob Bakish (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

CBS pulled its Black Rock tower building off the market, which had been aiming for a price north of $1 billion.

The television network’s parent company, Viacom, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday that it has suspended the marketing process for its 52-story headquarters building on Sixth Avenue because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The company has received significant interest in the asset,” Viacom wrote in the filing. “However, with the safety precautions related to COVID-19 announced by public officials now in place, the company has decided to postpone the sale process until interested parties can visit the property in person.”

Viacom said it will resume the marketing process once the virus situation has stabilized, and hopes to complete a sale this year.

CBS has called the modernist skyscraper at 51 West 52nd Street home since the building opened in the mid 1960s. The company had weighed selling the tower in the past, such as when Viacom first acquired CBS in 2000. In December, it announced it would look to sell the building.
But when CBS and Viacom merged last year in a $25 billion deal, the company revisited the sale effort.

CBS occupies about a third of the approximately 870,000-square-foot building. Other tenants include the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which in 2018 renewed its lease for 250,000 square feet.

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229

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