Time Inc. Eyeing Move to Downtown Manhattan

Time Warner Center Manhattan New York City - H 2012
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Time Warner Center Manhattan New York City - H 2012

The magazine company, which Time Warner plans to spin off this year, could leave its longtime midtown location to take advantage of lower rents in the area of the new World Trade Center complex.

Time Inc., the magazine giant that Time Warner is planning to spin off later this year, is looking at leaving its headquarters at the Time & Life Building in midtown Manhattan to take advantage of lower rents in lower Manhattan, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

The largest U.S. magazine publisher, whose brands include Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Entertainment Weekly, has talked to real estate companies managing locations in the new World Trade Center complex and other downtown locations, as new CEO Joseph Ripp is looking to reduce costs, it said.

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Time Inc. has been in its Avenue of the Americas headquarters near Rockefeller Center since the 1950s. Its lease expires in 2017. Time Warner itself recently unveiled a deal to move from its current headquarters in the Time Warner Center at Manhattan's Columbus Circle to a new Hudson Yards development slightly south of its current location.

Top office space in the current neighborhood of the Time Inc. headquarters costs an average of $82.35 per square foot late in 2013, compared with $53.79 for downtown areas, Bloomberg News said, citing data from real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield.

"We are currently exploring a number of real estate options," a Time Inc. spokeswoman confirmed.

Time Warner’s spinoff of Time Inc. will allow the entertainment conglomerate, led by CEO Jeff Bewkes, to focus on its cable networks and film businesses as the publishing arm has struggled amid changing consumer habits and lower advertising revenue in the digital age.

Conde Nast Publications has also agreed to leave midtown for lower Manhattan.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai