Leases  ·  Office

Vice Media Going Remote With Plans to Shed Williamsburg Office Lease

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Vice Media is casting off its Williamsburg, Brooklyn, headquarters after declaring bankruptcy three months ago.

The media company, which has been toying with restructuring its office footprint in recent years, is closing its 77,000-square-foot space at 289 Kent Avenue as it searches for a potential new home, with employees working remotely in the meantime, Bloomberg first reported

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Co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala announced the strategy in a recent memo to staffers, stating that Williamsburg office had become “unsuited” to the company’s business needs.

Vice Media declined to comment. Web Holdings, the owner of 289 Kent, could not immediately be reached. 

The shift in office comes as Vice has been trying to stabilize its finances by selling off the business to a group of lenders composed of Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital for about $350 million.

In June, a bankruptcy court approved the sale with questions lingering about how employees will get paid until a new corporate entity is established in place of the existing Vice.

Vice, which started as a punk magazine in Canada, drew the ire of many residents and musicians when it took over 285 Kent and the connected 49 South Second Street in 2014, forcing beloved DIY venues Death by Audio and the Glasslands Gallery to shutter.

In August 2021, Vice was reportedly in talks to consolidate that space along with its other outposts at 99 North 10th Street and 55 Washington Street into “four or five floors” in Rudin’s Dock 72 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

However, in May 2022, Vice signed a four-year renewal for its space at 289 Kent, nixing the planned move to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Commercial Observer reported at the time.

Vice executives didn’t mention if the media company would stay in the neighborhood or in Brooklyn, but wrote in the memo that the Williamsburgh location was “inconvenient” for some staff and “a significant financial burden on the company.”

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.