News Corp., 21st Century Fox sign LOI to anchor 2 WTC

Murdoch companies would move to Ingels-designed tower upon 2020 lease expiry

2 World Trade Center
From left: Bjarke Ingels, Rupert Murdoch, the World Trade Center site and Larry Silverstein

News Corp. and 21st Century Fox have signed a non-binding letter of intent to become the anchor tenants of Silverstein Properties’ 2 World Trade Center in the Financial District.

While the agreement “does not mean that a final decision has been made,” plans are in place for the Rupert Murdoch-owned companies to leave their current Midtown headquarters at 1211 and 1185 Sixth Avenue upon lease expiry in 2020.

Architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group would design the “state-of-the-art tower” at 2 World Trade Center, News Corp. confirmed in a release. News of the LOI signing was first reported by the New York Post.

“There is much to be done before a binding agreement with [Silverstein Properties] is reached, and renewing our current lease remains a possibility,” News Corp. said in a statement, also adding “no move would occur prior to 2020.”

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A decision to move or stay at the companies’ current Midtown headquarters will likely be made before the end of the year. News Corp. and 21st Century Fox would occupy roughly 1.3 million square feet on the lower levels of the 2.8-million square foot building, and under separate leases.

In a statement, Silverstein Properties chair Larry Silverstein called the agreement “a great milestone” for the World Trade Center and said the move by News Corp. and 21st Century Fox “would cap a seismic shift that has taken place in Lower Manhattan over the past decade.”

“This isn’t your grandfather’s Wall Street,” Silverstein added. “While still the international capital of finance, Lower Manhattan has also remade itself into the new media and entertainment capital of America.”

The Murdoch conglomerate had reportedly been in talks with Silverstein for months over co-developing the planned 80-plus-story tower and moving its operations to the Financial District. [NYP] — Rey Mashayekhi