Industry All Atwitter as NBC Universal Mulls Midtown Options

Oh, NBC Universal! When ever will you make up your mind?

At this morning’s CB Richard Ellis third quarter breakfast, Global Chairman Steve Siegel ticked off a bunch of pending deals, including NBC Universal’s negotiations to take 200,000 square feet of space in Midtown. Reporters took note. What a tantalizing hint!

Turns out, Mr. Siegel wasn’t far from the truth.

NBC Universal, which recently took two floors of “swing space” at 75 Rockefeller Center, is also in talks with reps from 1633 Broadway and 1271 Avenue of the Americas to take a short-term, 200,000-square-foot lease at either, according to two knowledgeable sources. NBC may also take more temporary space at 75 Rock.

All of this shuffling around would be in preparation for NBC Universal’s consolidation of its business operations into one, over 600,000-square-foot, permanent location (possibly at Worldwide Plaza).

We know this is confusing. NBC’s internal memo from last week explains it well:

As you know, this past spring we announced we would be consolidating many of our rooftops across the city into a new location in Midtown Manhattan. As I noted in our initial communication, 30 Rock will still be the home of NBC News, NBC Sports, NBC Entertainment (SNL and Late Night with Conan O’Brien) and WNBC. All other business operations will move to the new facility, as will employees currently at 437 Madison Ave., 2 Park Ave. and the Chelsea Market, but this will take time. Today, I want to give you an update on our progress.

Our mission has been to find a location that will create the kind of collaborative environment that is so important to our ongoing success and continued growth. A cross-functional team has helped us carefully evaluate many locations and we will soon be finalizing and announcing our choice. We now estimate that this move will take about two years to complete and will happen in two phases, the first of which will include a necessary move to interim spaces in Midtown.

This decision is a result of several factors, including space restraints at 30 Rock as well as the need for time to secure an appropriate lease and properly prepare a new facility. Moves to these interim locations will begin in mid-October and will be completed in March of next year. The Advertising Sales Organization will be the first to move to an interim space and, as of Monday, October 27, they will be occupying floors in 75 Rockefeller Plaza. We expect to finalize additional swing locations in the coming weeks and will let you know when and where in Midtown your team will be moving as soon as possible.

Industry All Atwitter as NBC Universal Mulls Midtown Options