Time Warner Sells Manhattan Real Estate

Time Warner Inc. ended months of speculation Thursday, announcing plans to sell its 1.1million square-feet of office space at the iconic Time Warner Center in Manhattan’s Columbus Square for $1.3 billion, making way for an eventual move to a new luxury skyscraper on the West Side of the city.

The programming giant sold the Time Warner Center space to a venture of Related Companies, an entity owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and GIC. The venture will lease office space back to Time Warner until early 2019. Additionally, Time Warner, Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group announced that Time Warner intends to relocate the company’s corporate headquarters and its New York City-based employees to Hudson Yards on the west side of Manhattan, and has made an initial financial commitment.

“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,” Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement. “We began a process two years ago to evaluate our commercial real estate footprint within the New York Metropolitan area, where we currently own and lease space in seven buildings. 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.”

Eastdil Secured represented Time Warner on the sale of its office space at Time Warner Center. Studley is representing Time Warner and CBRE is representing Related and Oxford with respect to Time Warner’s planned acquisition of space in Hudson Yards for its new corporate headquarters.

Time Warner built the Time Warner Center in 2004, shortly after its ill-fated merger with AOL. The 2.8 million square-foot facility includes office space, shops, restaurants and the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

 “We are pleased to be partnering with ADIA and GIC in the acquisition of the office space Time Warner has occupied since 2004. Since opening, Time Warner Center has become one of the most celebrated and successful mixed-use developments--offering dynamic retail, hotel and cultural amenities and first-class office space,” said Related Companies Chairman Stephen M. Ross in a statement. “Time Warner has been a great steward for what will inevitably be some of the most sought after commercial office space in the City.”
Time Warner expects to acquire more than one million square feet of the available commercial space in 30 Hudson Yards located at the southwest corner of 10th Avenue and 33rd Street in Hudson Yards. Approximately 5,000 employees from Time Warner’s corporate operations and its HBO, Turner Broadcasting, and Warner Bros. businesses will occupy the new office space in 30 Hudson Yards at the end of 2018. The parties have signed an initial agreement for the development of 30 Hudson Yards, and all parties expect to complete final building development documents by the first half of 2014.

The LEED Gold 80-story 30 Hudson Yards, designed by global architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), will stand 1,227 feet tall and offer state-of-the-art commercial office space for Time Warner’s 5,000 employees, including screening rooms, studio space and dedicated corporate amenity spaces. The 2.6 million square foot building will feature panoramic views of the city skyline and Hudson River, what will be the city’s highest outdoor observation deck and a dramatic ground floor lobby with entrances off of Tenth Avenue and Hudson Boulevard, directly adjacent to the entrance to the new No. 7 subway extension. Upon completion, 30 Hudson Yards will be the fourth tallest building in New York City. Construction of the 10-acre platform that will serve as the foundation of 30 Hudson Yards, the remaining towers in the eastern rail yard and the public space is expected to commence in upcoming weeks. The neighboring 10 Hudson Yards will be home to Coach Inc., L’Oreal USA, SAP and Fairway Market.