The trend-defying Bonnier Corporation, the Swedish publisher of enthusiast magazines that has been on a buying binge in what is arguably the most treacherous media market ever, has reaffirmed its allegiance to midtown south, signing a 99,000-square-foot lease in the Art Deco 2 Park Avenue, where it is now a subtenant.
Bonnier signed a 10-year deal for the high-ceilinged ninth and 10th floors of the landmarked edifice that has a long history in the publishing business. It once housed both the Times Mirror and Newsday, according to Paul Walker, the CB Richard Ellis vice president who, with Jason Gorman and Will Golden, represented the tenant in lease negotiations. (The landlord, a joint venture of Morgan Stanley and L&L Holding Company, was represented by L&L’s David Berkey.)
Two years ago, when the European Bonnier Magazine Group merged with the Florida-based World Publications, buying 18 magazines from Time Inc. in the process and rebranding the entire entity Bonnier Corporation, it inherited this sublease.
Since then, Bonnier bought Working Mother Media, along with five mags from Hachette Filipacchi: American Photo, Popular Photography, Boating, Flying and Sound & Vision. Some of the more recently acquired staff – the lucky ones, at any rate – are moving (or have moved) to 2 Park. The unlucky ones: destination Winter Park, Florida, where Bonnier’s U.S. operations are headquartered.
“It is very important for them to have a strong presence in New York City, because it’s the recognized publishing capital of the U.S.,” Mr. Walker said.
Bonnier’s 2 Park lease may be merely the tip of something bolder. Bonnier CEO Terry Snow recently told Crain’s that, “Hopefully, there will be more acquisitions. It’s a good time to buy right now, but it is challenging. You have to have confidence that the advertising markets are going to come back.”