Vice scraps move to Rudin’s Dock 72

Media company to remain in Williamsburg’s 289 Kent Avenue

From left: Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc, Rudin’s CEO and co-chairman Bill Rudin, and Dock 72 (Getty Images, S9 Architecture, Rudin Management, iStock)
From left: Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc, Rudin’s CEO and co-chairman Bill Rudin, and Dock 72 (Getty Images, S9 Architecture, Rudin Management, iStock)

Vice Media will remain in its 77,000-square-foot Williamsburg office digs and not move to Rudin Management’s Dock 72 as had been expected.

Vice has renewed its lease with WEB Holdings LLC, the owner of 289 Kent Avenue, where it has been headquartered since 2014. The renewal is for only four years, providing time for Vice to figure out its future needs.

The Kent Avenue offices are a combination of two buildings on three floors where the employees can enjoy a 30,000-square-foot landscaped roof deck overlooking Domino Park and the East River.

Erik Schmall and Allyson Bowen of Savills represented Vice Media while a Lee & Associates team including Alan Friedman and Garry Steinberg represented the landlord. No other terms of the lease were made available.

In a statement, Friedman pointed to the “lively location and state-of-the-art amenities” at 289 Kent Avenue as “today’s tenants are prioritizing quality over everything.”

In August, sources told The Real Deal that Vice was still exploring options but focused on leasing “four or five floors” at Dock 72, the 16-story, 675,000-square-foot office building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard developed by Rudin Management and Boston Properties in cooperation with WeWork.

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At the time, a Vice Media Group spokesperson confirmed the company’s lease expires in 2022 and said in a statement it “does not have an agreement with any party at this time.”

“Like all companies with an expiring lease, Vice is exploring all options for new office space while maintaining the best cost profile for our company,” the spokesperson said.

Vice’s short-term renewal on Kent Avenue is a blow for Dock 72, which finally landed cooking and home brand Food52 as its second tenant last fall. WeWork is the anchor tenant and will provide programming and amenities for the other tenants.

Last fall, Lee & Associates started marketing Vice’s space on the Brooklyn waterfront as available starting July 1, 2022, putting pressure on Vice to make a choice before its renewal option expired.

The three-story, 21,000-square-foot former Domino Sugar warehouse at 49 South 2nd Street and the two-story, 44,000-plus square-foot former theater, recording studio and restaurant at 289 Kent Avenue were brought up to code and completely redesigned by the Switzer Group into a sleek, minimalist space for Vice. It features exposed wood beams, columns, structural steel and concrete.

A former garage was made into a cheery entrance lobby and reception area leading to a café bar, lounges, collaborative office space, conference rooms and executive offices. Bay doors open to an outdoor “living room” deck and green roof garden. It also has a working professional kitchen for filming as well as 125 high-tech editing suites.

Vice, Boston Properties and Rudin did not return requests for comment.