To say the least, we’re living in a technology-heavy era marked by the decline of traditional media and the growth of digital media. So I can’t remember the last time I found a property story where a traditional media company displaced a technology company.
Just goes to show: in New York City, anything can happen.
In Rayna Katz’s piece today in Globe St., we find a reversal of the common transformation of downtown office space: instead of plucky web startups moving in to the former office space of a paper-based media business, it’s the other way around.
Hachette Book Group has signed a 15-year lease on two floors of 1290 Sixth Avenue, taking up nearly 140, 000 sq. ft. once occupied by none other than technology leviathan Microsoft. It will be a kind of homecoming for the publishing company that includes such imprints as Little Brown and Grand Central, as their address in the 90s was nearby on Sixth.
From Rayna Katz:
Neil Goldmacher, a broker with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, represented Hachette in the deal. Vornado is represented in leasing transactions at the property by Cushman & Wakefield’s Bruce Mosler, chairman, who led the transaction; along with Josh Kuriloff, executive vice chairman;Franklin Speyer, vice chairman and Mikael Nahmias, executive director. Glen Weiss, an executive at Vornado in charge of leasing its portfolio, also helped negotiate the deal.
“We’re thrilled to be returning to the neighborhood, right in the heart of New York City, next to Radio City and Rock Center, providing an easy commute for Hachette Book Group staff,” the spokeswoman says. “The central location puts us close to literary agencies, publishers, and the media.”
State Street Capital took 100,000 square feet in the building earlier this year, Together, that deal and the new lease with Hachette will absorb most of the Microsoft space, a large block of space that initially seemed tough to fill.
That appeared to be an even tougher mountain to climb at the beginning of the year when AXA Equitable—the life insurance company—dumped about 40,000 square feet of its space at 1290 Sixth Ave. onto the market for sublease. The company was offering deeply discounted rents in the $40s per square foot. That move came as hundreds of thousands of square feet of competing vacancies festered on the Sixth Avenue market, creating the appearance of a glut of options on the avenue.