The Observer’s Eliot Brown just broke the news that the Port Authority has selected Douglas Durst to buy a stake in One World Trade Center, the 102 story tower being built downtown.
Conde Nast is interested in moving into the tower, and now that Mr. Durst has his hands on the tower, it makes the possibility of a move far more likely. Mr. Durst owns 4 Times Square, and would be the position to allow Conde Nast to break its current lease and move into One World Trade Center in three years, when it is scheduled to open.
Why would Condé look for a new home, just after helping to remake Times Square? Money!
“Why look for new space as opposed to stay here?” said a Condé Nast executive, speaking at 4 Times Square on Tuesday. “We’re paying below market rent here, and at some point, it goes to market. That’s a huge jump. When we moved to Times Square, market rent was nothing like what it will be when our lease expires.”
Condé Nast signed a deal with developer Douglas Durst in 1996 for rents that made sense in the Giuliani years. (One real estate source pegged the lease numbers in Condé Nast’s first year of occupancy in 1999 to be somewhere around $35 per square foot. Rents for the newly opened 11 Times Square, down the block, are reportedly in the high $70s.)