Fox, News Corp stay put in Midtown

Murdoch-owned media giants renew 1.1M sf at Ivanhoe Cambridge-owned tower

Rupert Murdoch and 1211 Sixth Avenue (Google Maps, Getty)
Rupert Murdoch and 1211 Sixth Avenue (Google Maps, Getty)

The Murdochs are sticking to Midtown.

Fox Corporation and News Corporation, the pillars of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, have opted to renew their deals to occupy their respective headquarters at Ivanhoe Cambridge’s 1211 Sixth Avenue.

The 20-year deals represent a boon for the 45-story tower, where the two companies’ combined 1.1 million square feet account for more than half of the rentable space, the Wall Street Journal reported. They’re also a shot in the arm for the Manhattan office market, which has seen both leasing activity and prospecting plummet.

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Tenants leased just 4.9 million square feet of Manhattan office space in the fourth quarter, according to Colliers, the borough’s worst performance since the second quarter of 2021. The 46.5 percent decline in leasing activity from the third quarter to the fourth was the sharpest drop recorded since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Average asking rents in Midtown are down 7.6 percent from March 2020. Meanwhile, data from VTS show that new business searches for new office space in 2022 were below half of the 2018 and 2019 levels.

Older buildings have been hit particularly hard as tenants, particularly in the media and technology sectors, seize the opportunity to upgrade their spaces. Ivanhoe Cambridge’s building at 1211 Sixth Avenue, which opened in 1973, will undergo interior and exterior renovations as part of the lease agreements, according to the Journal.

The leases come months after Murdoch proposed a merger of the two companies, which separated in 2013. News Corporation’s assets include the Journal, the New York Post and book publisher HarperCollins, among others. Fox Corporation includes most Fox-branded television operations, including Fox News and Fox Sports. Both companies are controlled by the Murdoch family.

CBRE represented the Murdoch companies in the renewals.