Inside the New Offices of SportsNet NY and Sterling Equities in WTC
Four years ago, the Wilpon family began looking for a space that would consolidate the separate offices of their real estate investment firm, Sterling Equities, and their TV network for the Mets, SportsNet New York, under one roof.
They hired architecture firm HLW to help them find a new space for both companies. Ultimately, the team decided to lease 85,000 square feet across the 49th and 50th floors at 4 World Trade Center in late 2015. A year later, Sterling began construction on the space, which somehow needed to combine the culture of a real estate investment firm with the laxer vibe of a media organization. An even bigger challenge was building double-height television broadcasting studios in a traditional office space.
“As broadcast designers we would not have selected this,” said Keith Hanadel of HLW. “But the client said, ‘We really want to be in 4 World Trade.’ It’s a new office tower, so it doesn’t really have high floor-to-ceiling heights. And they said, ‘Can you weave Sterling, which is a conservative financial and developer group, with SNY, which is a hip broadcast media group?’”
The upper floors of 4 World Trade, with their sweeping views of both rivers, New Jersey and Governor’s Island, were a huge improvement on SNY’s old space in the Time-Life Building at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, where their production facilities were below grade.
The Sterling Equities side of the office was outfitted with more subdued materials—wood paneling, glass-walled conference rooms, gray seating and carpeting and glassed-in executive offices along the perimeter that surrounded a central seating area. The SNY offices, on the other hand, combine a mix of open-plan offices with editing suites, control rooms and broadcast studios. One studio has been built-out with faux brick to mimic Citi Field and accented with Mets blue lighting, and the others have lights and screens that can be adjusted to reflect the logos and colors of other New York teams, like the Jets. The two companies also have separate elevator lobbies; SNY’s is painted white and features a huge, stylized version of their logo transposed with images of the Mets and the Knicks playing.