Despite the fact that Condé Nast is going through a period of unprecedented hardship, and despite the fact there could be more bad news coming down the pike—“Hold on to your seat this week,” said one source about potential news later this week regarding the fate of some of Condé’s B titles—the company hasn’t quit looking for a new home.
Condé Nast has been in the Death Star—oops! 4 Times Square—for only a decade now, but for the last year Si Newhouse has been itching to find a way to put all of his magazines under one big shiny roof.
In the fall of 2007, he signed up with developer Douglas Durst to build a new tower over the West Side railyards—the same man who built his home for him in Times Square—but once the M.T.A. chose Related Properties to build on the far West Side, that deal was dead in the water.
Then we heard in March 2008 from Condé Nast’s COO John Bellando that other options were being considered, but shortly afterward it became very quiet on the real estate front.
And despite the fact Mr. Newhouse folded Domino last week, and has mandated a uniform budget cut throughout the company, he is still very much looking for a new skyscraper.
“We have started having some conversations/discussions with people,” said spokeswoman Maurie Perl in an email.
And what people?
In the last month, Condé Nast has met with Stephen Ross’ Related Properties, according to a well-placed source. Brookfield Properties, another real-estate developer, had reportedly been talking to Condé Nast as late as September. Have they had a meeting more recently as well?
“No comment,” said Brookfield’s spokeswoman.
And apparently Douglas Durst hasn’t entirely given up the fight to try to convince Mr. Newhouse that 4 Times Square should be his home for the future.
“I can’t discuss discussions that are under discussion,” said Mr. Durst, through his spokesman.
“I wouldn’t use the word ‘negotiations,’” said Ms. Perl, the Condé Nast spokeswoman. “I think that would be too strong a characterization.”
— Additional reporting by Eliot Brown