Sunday 18 February 2018

News Corp and Fox sign up for World Trade Centre space

The view from the new World Trade Centre. Fox and News Corp have become the latest firms to sign up for space there.
The view from the new World Trade Centre. Fox and News Corp have become the latest firms to sign up for space there.

David Levitt

News Corp and 21st Century Fox. reached a non-binding agreement with developer Larry Silverstein to move their headquarters to a new skyscraper to be built at lower Manhattan's World Trade Centre site.

The building, to be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, will house studios, newsrooms and employees from across Fox and News Corp's businesses, the media companies said. The tower will be at 200 Greenwich Street, also known as 2 World Trade Centre, according to the statement.

"A decision by 21st Century Fox and News Corp. to move to the new World Trade Centre would cap a seismic shift that has taken place in Lower Manhattan over the past decade," Silverstein said. "This isn't your grandfather's Wall Street."

The area south of Chambers Street is home to more than 800 technology, advertising, media and information companies, including publishers Time, Conde Nast and HarperCollins. Landing News Corp and Fox would help put a finishing touch on the rebuilding of the trade centre site, almost 14 years after the terrorist attacks.

The two companies are still considering staying at their current headquarters in midtown Manhattan, they said in an internal e-mail to employees. Renewing their leases, which expire in 2020, is the only alternative to moving to the new trade centre tower, according to the e-mail.

Ingels is taking over the design of 2 World Trade from Norman Foster's London-based firm. Foster's design for the tower features four diamond-shaped quadrants that rise to a roof slanted toward the 9/11 memorial.

Ingels is working on a design that would be better suited for media companies such as Fox and News Corp., which would occupy the bottom 1.3 million square feet (121,000 square meters) of the 2.8 million-square-foot tower, said a person with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private.

A voicemail left after regular business hours in London for a spokeswoman for Foster, wasn't immediately returned.

News Corp would move the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, among other company operations, to the new site, said another person with knowledge of the plans. Corporate operations for both News Corp and Fox, along with Fox News and some Fox cable and film operations, would also be relocated, the person said.

The new tower would continue to be the second-tallest of the four planned for the 16-acre (6.5-hectare) site, after 1 World Trade, which opened last year. Three World Trade Centre, designed by British architect Richard Rogers, is under construction, and advertising firm GroupM will be its anchor tenant.

Ingels is co-designing a 60-acre expansion of the Googleplex, Google's Mountain View, California, headquarters, with four enormous glass canopies stretched over steel pillars. In New York, the Danish architect designed the Durst Organization's mountain-shaped residential building near the Hudson River along West 57th Street, scheduled to open next year.

"We're honored and deeply humbled that we can contribute to the transformation of downtown Manhattan, which will restore the skyline that frames the 9/11 memorial park, and finally complete the World Trade Center," said an Ingels spokesman. She declined to describe the redesign the firm is working on.

While a fourth tower would complete the ensemble envisioned by architect Daniel Libeskind when he laid out the World Trade Centre master plan in the early 2000s, it may also complicate Manhattan's office market by adding unrented space. (Bloomberg)

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