IAC’s recent $2.7 billion acquisition of Des Moines-based publisher, Meredith — which is now known as Dotdash Meredith — is leading to a downsizing of its Lower Manhattan offices as the new company consolidates at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City.
A JLL team of Brad Lane, executive vice president; Todd Stracci, executive managing director; and Brett Harvey, managing director, is now offering for sublease a whopping 331,509 square feet of Meredith’s huge headquarters at 225 Liberty St., which has a term through December 2032.
They’re not alone, as there are still millions of square feet for rent locally in both direct and sublease opportunities. According to real estate company Savills, downtown is still losing office tenants. At the end of the second quarter of 2022, downtown had 6.9 million square feet available with an overall asking rent of $60.27 per foot, up from 5.4 million square feet and $59.60 per foot one year ago. Downtown’s availability rate is 23.1%, up from 20.6% a year ago.
There’s a lot of competition to sign office tenants, but Dotdash Meredith’s is one of the largest for sublease. Other downtown sublease blocks added just in the second half of 2022 include 58,169 square feet of MediaMath’s 106,000 square feet at 4 World Trade Center and Orchard’s 65,589 square feet at 195 Broadway — where, in April, Lattice subleased Namely’s 42,937 square feet.
One World Trade Center still has seven floors of around 48,500 square feet each available for sublease from Condé Nast and the smaller 34,382 square feet from Hyperscience on the 88th floor.
In another expansion, the work management platform Asana is tripling its space at 3 World Trade Center with a sublease from Uber for 44,000 square feet on the 49th floor. Asana will also keep the original 17,000 square feet it leased on the 36th floor in 2019 directly from Silverstein Properties.
(Uber had earlier consolidated three offices into 307,390 square feet at 3 World Trade but has been utilizing just 220,000 square feet on five of the seven floors.)
And as Better Mortgage struggles, it is trying to ditch its 44,039 square feet on the 57th floor of that tower with an asking rent of $79 per foot and a lease that runs through 2026.
As for the Dotdash Meredith space, according to sources, the seventh through ninth floors at 225 Liberty can be leased together, or as single or partial floors. The space includes high-end office furniture, work stations and conference rooms. It also has a bargain asking rent of $49 per foot, which is roughly half the pricing of the smaller direct spaces being offered by Brookfield.
A few blocks away, the former Dotdash offices at 28 Liberty St. are also available to sublease. This 68,230-square-foot block comprises the seventh and eighth floors, and can seat 400 people. The floors can also be leased separately and the asking rent there is $50 per foot.
The Brookfield Place space is a portion of the original 700,000 square feet that Time, Inc. had rented there in 2014 when it decided to save money and relocate downtown from its landmark midtown tower at 1271 Ave. of the Americas, when its long lease was set to expire in 2017 and it faced a huge rent bump.
STUDIOS architects designed the eight floors for Time as an open, collaborative environment that would foster creativity and innovation.
The space was part of the 4.2 million square feet that had been occupied by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch on a long lease that expired in 2013.
When Meredith combined with Time in another $2.8 billion merger in 2018, it remained in those offices and hired JLL at that time as well, to sublease its 190,000 square feet on eight floors of Charles Cohen’s 805 Third Ave.
Meredith had tried to sublease the 225 Liberty space previously, but is trying again now that the IAC deal has been completed. A spokeswoman said it was typical restructuring after such a merger.
The Post has followed the IAC Meredith transaction as the latter’s Midwestern culture has been clashing with the bean counters in IAC’s Meatpacking headquarters. Both their magazines and their print sizes has been slashed to concentrate on up-scaling to glossies and online publications. The Post’s Alexandra Steigrad wrote in May.
“The IAC people are not nice. Barry Diller is not nice,” said a source, who noted that new ownership “doesn’t understand” print magazines, all they want to do is “make money.”
“The Meredith people show up to meetings in Crocs. Their offices have wicker furniture,” the source said. “You cannot turn up to Barry Diller’s Frank Gehry-designed spaceship in Crocs. IAC is like ‘The Matrix.’ There’s no furniture and you’re greeted by people wearing Prada.”