Macmillan Publishers considers move from Flatiron Building to 120 Broadway

A few "Big 5" competitors have moved downtown in recent years

From left: the Flatiron Building, 120 Broadway and Macmillan's Annette Thomas
From left: the Flatiron Building, 120 Broadway and Macmillan's Annette Thomas

Another one of the book business’s “Big 5” publishers is seeking a new chapter in Lower Manhattan. Macmillan Publishers, the sole office tenant at the landmarked Flatiron Building, is weighing a move to Silverstein Properties’ Equitable Life Building at 120 Broadway, sources tell The Real Deal.

The exact square footage wasn’t immediately clear, but Macmillan’s been in the market for about a year now for as much as 150,000 square feet, as TRD originally reported.

The publisher plans to take a chunk of the space that the state Attorney General’s office will leave behind when it decamps for Fosun International’s 28 Liberty, where earlier this year it inked a lease for 345,000 square feet.

Representatives for Silverstein did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Macmillan’s broker, Leon Manoff at Colliers International, declined to comment.

If the deal goes through, it would be the first time the Flatiron Building, owned by Sorgente Group of America, would be completely empty since it was built more than 100 years ago. Part of the reason Macmillan is relocating is the fact that the Flatiron District, the area named for the 22-story building, has become the epicenter of the city’s technology industry, driving up rents.

Sorgente could either lease the building to higher-paying tenants, or follow through on a plan it previously considered to convert it into a hotel.

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Macmillan’s education arm, Macmillan Science and Education, is located near 120 Broadway at Brookfield Properties’ One New York Plaza, where it signed a long-term lease for more than 176,000 square feet in 2014.

Harper Collins in 2013 inked a deal to relocate from its home at 10 East 53rd Street to L&L Holding and Beacon Capital Partners’ 195 Broadway.

It was one of several media companies, including Time, Inc. and Conde Nast, that were relocating from Midtown and establishing Lower Manhattan as a destination for media companies.

Penguin Random House last year signed a lease extension running through 2033 at SL Green Realty and Ivanhoe Cambridge’s [TRDataCustom] 1745 Broadway between West 55th and 56th streets. At the same time, the publisher announced plans to relocate employees from it Soho offices at 375 and 345 Hudson Street to the Midtown headquarters.

The two other Big 5 publishers are on Sixth Avenue: Simon and Schuster, which is located in an eponymous building at Tishman Speyer’s 1230 Avenue of the Americas in Rockefeller Center, and the Hachette Book Group, which signed a lease in 2013 at Vornado Realty Trust’s 1290 Avenue of the Americas.

(To see a ranking of the top office leasing tenants, click here)