Condé Nast is taking its lease disagreement at One World Trade Center to the next level.
The magazine publisher, which leases 1.2 million square feet at the Financial District skyscraper, has not paid the $2.4 million it owes in rent for January, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The media company has reportedly been looking for a way out of its lease since the summer, and hopes to move to a smaller office in Midtown or New Jersey’s Gold Coast. But its landlords — the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the Durst Organization — aren’t prepared to let the company go so easily, especially considering its lease at the SOM-designed supertall extends through 2039.
“The Port Authority believes it has strong contractual rights to enforce full payment by Advance which it intends to assert,” a spokesperson for the agency told the Journal.
The pandemic has hammered both New York’s office market and media industry. Office landlords are dealing with record availability and low occupancy numbers, with a full recovery not expected until the Covid-19 vaccine is widely available.
And for publishers, the pandemic worsened the problem of declining advertising revenue. Many companies have been hit by layoffs, Condé Nast included.
Advance Publications, the parent company of Condé Nast, had already subleased 150,000 square feet at 1 WTC, and told the Journal that it “continues to be in discussions about bringing the lease in 1WTC into line with current market conditions and its ongoing needs at that location.”
The company moved into the tower at the end of 2014, leaving behind its former headquarters at the Durst Organization’s 4 Times Square, which was subsequently rebranded as One Five One. Last year, TikTok signed one of the city’s biggest pandemic-era office leases when it inked a deal for 232,000 square feet in the building.
[WSJ] — Amy Plitt