Time Warner Sells Manhattan Headquarters for $1.3 Billion, Unveils Relocation Plans

Time Warner Center

Two interconnected 80-story towers house a 248-room Mandarin Oriental Hotel and 64 residences in addition to restaurants such as Per Se and Masa and shops like Tumi, Coach and Tourneau.

The entertainment giant, led by CEO Jeff Bewkes, plans to consolidate its operations in the Big Apple in a new building on Manhattan's far West Side in a few years.

Time Warner has agreed to sell its midtown Manhattan headquarters for $1.3 billion and plans to move its operations in the Big Apple under one roof in a new building on the far West Side of Manhattan, the entertainment conglomerate said Thursday.

The sale agreement with real estate firm Related Companies and partners for the Time Warner Center, on whose construction the entertainment conglomerate spent around $520 million about a decade ago, is the result of TW's exploration of its real estate options for the past two and a half years.

Time Warner, led by chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes, has been looking to save money and consolidate the staff of its various operations. It currently has seven office locations in New York. Most of the leases are believed to be up in 2017.

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TW will lease office space in the Time Warner Center until early 2019, the firm said Thursday.

TW said it has sold the 1.1 million square feet of office space it owns in Time Warner Center to a venture of Related Companies, an entity owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC.

Additionally, TW, Related and Oxford Properties Group said they plan to relocate the company’s corporate headquarters and its New York City-based employees to Hudson Yards, on the West Side of Manhattan. TW has made an initial financial commitment, they said, without providing further details.
Related has been developing a new commercial tower in the Hudson Yards neighborhood, south of Times Square. It is a skyscraper set to be built at the corner of 10th Avenue and 33rd Street.

The far West of Manhattan has offered cheaper real estate prices in an effort to revitalize the area and attract people and companies. Previous chatter suggested that TW could save $100 million or more by moving office space.

Said Bewkes: "The sale of our office space in Time Warner Center to Related Companies and its partners is an important step toward moving our New York City-based employees into a dynamic new complex that will foster even more collaboration, creativity and efficiency across our businesses."

He added: "By consolidating our space to Hudson Yards, New York’s next great neighborhood, we will be able to reallocate substantial savings to our primary business of creating and sharing great storytelling in television, film and journalism with audiences around the world."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai