Murdoch and Newhouse Battle for West Side

Looks like the biggest Manhattan real estate battle in years is shaping up to be the biggest media battle too.

As The Observer reported today, Rupert Murdoch has joined up with the real estate heavyweight The Related Companies, according to a source, in its bid for the Hudson Yards project on the far West Side of Manhattan. If the Related Companies wins the billion-dollar-plus bid, it would have the right to develop on land currently owned by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation would move its offices from 1211 Avenue of the Americas to an area in the West 30s along 11th Avenue.

Meanwhile, Conde Nast chief S.I. Newhouse is prepared to flee 4 Times Square for a new office tower in Hudson Yards as well. As The Observer reported last week, the developer Douglas Durst–who owns 4 Times Square–said that Conde Nast has teamed up in his bid with real estate owner Vornado. If Mr. Durst and Vornado won the bid, Conde Nast would move out of the 700,000 sqare feet it currently occupies on 42nd Street and into a new 1.5 million square foot tower by 2015.

Three other real estate companies prepared bids as well, including Tishman Speyer (which has teamed up with Morgan Stanley), Brookfield Properties and Extell. A source said that it could take months before MTA announces a winner.