New York Times looks to sublet nearly half of its HQ

"Gray Lady" will put at least 8 floors on the sublet market in an effort to raise rent revenue

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and The New York Times Building
Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and The New York Times Building

The New York Times is planning to offer up at least eight floors at Its Eighth Avenue headquarters on the sublet market in an effort to generate some rental income.

The Gray Lady, which partnered with Forest City Ratner Companies [TRDataCustom] to develop the Renzo Piano-designed, 1.8 million-square-foot tower at 620 Eighth Avenue in 2007, has been scaling back its presence at the building for some time now.

In 2009, the company sold part of its interest in the building to W.P. Carey for $225 million. The newspaper reported at the time that the sale-leaseback deal on the 750,000 square feet it occupied started with an annual lease payment of $24 million a year, or $32 per square foot.

Market rents for Class A office space in the neighborhood at the time ranged from $50 to $80 per square foot. And in 2015, the newspaper sublet the 21st floor to tech startup Bounce Exchange.

But now the sage publication is looking to cash in on its large footprint, putting about half of the 19 floors it occupies up for sublease, Politico reported. The Times’ term runs through 2024, according to CoStar Group.

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About 400 employees will relocate to a temporary office while the architecture firm Gensler reorganizes the paper’s office.

“The coming redesign will introduce more team rooms and common spaces,” publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and president and CEO Mark Thompson wrote in a company memo Friday. “And, we will do away with big corner offices, like the ones you see on the 16th and 17th floors, including, yes, the publisher and CEO’s offices. We don’t need to preserve those vestiges from a different era, so we won’t.”

“We expect a substantial financial benefit as well,” they added.

The Times has an option to purchase its condominium interest in 2019 for $250 million.

The 52-story building, which has floor plates of about 36,000 square feet each, was a breakout development for Forest City’s MaryAnne Gilmartin, who spearheaded the pitch that ultimately landed the project for the company. [Politico]Rich Bockmann

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