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Conde Nast Close to Deal to Move to 1 World Trade Center

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May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Conde Nast Publications Inc., publisher of magazines including the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, said it is near an agreement to move its headquarters to downtown Manhattan’s 1 World Trade Center.

“We are close to concluding lease negotiations, and are hopeful that a move to 1 World Trade Center will be a catalyst for transforming downtown,” Chief Financial Officer John Bellando said in a statement today.

A deal would make Conde Nast an anchor tenant in the 1,776-foot (541-meter) skyscraper, under construction at the Ground Zero site and scheduled for completion in 2013. The publisher’s presence may galvanize the lower Manhattan office market, which has struggled since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks destroyed the original trade center and the 2008 credit crisis damaged the area’s financial industry.

Developer Douglas Durst, who oversees leasing at 1 World Trade Center, in November expressed confidence in demand at the property, saying “the building will definitely make money.” The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is building the skyscraper, which would be the nation’s tallest.

Conde Nast, now at the Durst-owned 4 Times Square tower in Midtown, has been in talks to rent space at the new building since last year. It will lease about 1 million square feet, the New York Times reported earlier today. The deal, under which the publisher would pay about $2 billion over 25 years, is to be voted on by the Port Authority on May 26, the newspaper said.

Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the Durst Organization, declined to comment. A call to John Kelly, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, wasn’t immediately returned.

Durst last year agreed to invest at least $100 million into what was then a $3.2 billion project as an equity partner with the agency. That deal hasn’t yet been completed.

-- Editors: Kara Wetzel, Christine Maurus

To contact the reporter on this story: Brett Pulley in New York at bpulley@bloomberg.net; David M. Levitt in New York at dlevitt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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