Rolling Stone publisher eyes move to Empire Stores in Dumbo

Wenner Media in talks to leave Sixth Avenue for as much as 70K sf 

Empire Stores
Rendering of Empire Stores in Dumbo (credit: S9 Architecture) (inset: Joe Cayre)

The publisher of Rolling Stone magazine is in talks to Relocate From Sixth Avenue to more than 50,000 square feet in Dumbo.

If a lease were to be finalized, Wenner Media, which along with the venerable music magazine also publishes titles like Us Weekly and Men’s Journal, would take as much as 70,000 square feet at the new office complex Empire Stores, Bloomberg reported.

The publisher is currently located at Vornado Realty Trust’s [TRData] 1290 Sixth Avenue and is negotiating the details of a lease, Bloomberg noted, though neither side has committed to a deal.

Industry sources told Bloomberg that Brooklyn’s emerging office market is still looking for high-profile companies to help solidify its strength.

“With Wenner Media, a real corporate tenant strongly considering a move to Empire Stores in Brooklyn, that is like the holy grail for the Brooklyn developers,” Zev Holzman, a broker with Savills Studley who isn’t involved in the negotiations, told the news outlet. “They’re looking for Manhattan corporate tenants to move to Brooklyn.”

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A partnership of Midtown Equities, Rockwood Capital and the HK Organization is developing the 430,000-square-foot project, where office rents range from $65 to $85 per square foot.

Along with Time Inc., which departed 1271 Sixth Avenue for Brookfield Place, and SportsNet New York, which agreed to move from the same building to 4 World Trade Center, Wenner Media would be the third big media company to leave the Rockefeller Center area.

One caveat to a relocation would be that Wenner’s lease with Vornado doesn’t expire for some time, so the publisher would have to pay a termination fee.

Earlier this year, advertising firm 72andSunny agreed to take 50,000 square feet at Empire Stores, which is 62 percent leased.

The project is one of several big office projects in the borough, such as Dumbo Heights and the Brooklyn Navy Yard redevelopment, looking to draw marquee tenants across the East River.

[Bloomberg] – Rich Bockmann