News Corp. Splits, Real Estate Wonders in What Direction?
The recent announcement that News Corp. would split into separate publishing and entertainment entities has left some in the real estate business wondering if the company will flee its longtime home at 1211 Avenue of the Americas.
The prevailing question, according to The Wall Street Journal (a News Corp. entity), is if both companies will end up under the same roof, or go their separate ways. The company, which is represented by CBRE, is not expected to make a decision about the space for years.
The company currently takes up 1.9 million square feet of space at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, where its lease is not set to expire until 2020.
In the past, News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch has been reluctant to move his newspaper properties, which include The NY Post, to cheaper office space, The WSJ says.
With the publishing company running on “thinner margins” than the entertainment arm of News Corp., the publishing wing may have no other recourse but to move to space that is more affordable than 1211 Avenue of the Americas, where rent ranges from $75-to-$80 a square foot.
“If you read the tea leaves, you could see one building being the News Corp.-Fox building and the other being The Wall Street Journal building,” Ken Doctor, an analyst at Outsell, a research and advisory firm that focuses on the information industry, told The WSJ.
Real estate insiders are also keeping an eye on HarperCollins and Wireless Generation, which are both owned by News Corp.
Book publishers HarperCollins currently has 240,000 square feet at 10 E. 53rd Street, where its lease is slated to expire in 2014. Wireless Generation has space at 55 Washington Street in Dumbo and is reportedly in need of more space.