Fox, News Corp. Have Tentative Pact for Trade Center Move

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News Corp. and 21st Century Fox Inc. reached a non-binding agreement with developer Larry Silverstein to move their headquarters to a new skyscraper to be built at lower Manhattan’s World Trade Center site.

The building, to be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, will house studios, newsrooms and employees from across Fox and News Corp.’s businesses, the media companies said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The tower will be at 200 Greenwich Street, also known as 2 World Trade Center, according to the statement.

“A decision by 21st Century Fox and News Corp. to move to the new World Trade Center would cap a seismic shift that has taken place in Lower Manhattan over the past decade,” Silverstein said in a separate statement Tuesday. “This isn’t your grandfather’s Wall Street.”

The area south of Chambers Street is home to more than 800 technology, advertising, media and information companies, including publishers Time Inc., Conde Nast and HarperCollins. Landing News Corp. and Fox would help put a finishing touch on the rebuilding of the trade center site, almost 14 years after the terrorist attacks.

The two companies are still considering staying at their current headquarters in midtown Manhattan, they said Tuesday in an internal e-mail to employees. Renewing their leases, which expire in 2020, is the only alternative to moving to the new trade center tower, according to the e-mail.

Foster Out

Ingels is taking over the design of 2 World Trade from Norman Foster’s London-based firm. Foster’s design for the tower features four diamond-shaped quadrants that rise to a roof slanted toward the 9/11 memorial.

Ingels is working on a design that would be better suited for media companies such as Fox and News Corp., which would occupy the bottom 1.3 million square feet (121,000 square meters) of the 2.8 million-square-foot tower, said a person with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private.

A voicemail left after regular business hours in London for Katy Harris, a spokeswoman for Foster, wasn’t immediately returned.

News Corp. would move the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, among other company operations, to the new site, said another person with knowledge of the plans. Corporate operations for both News Corp. and Fox, along with Fox News and some Fox cable and film operations, would also be relocated, the person said.

Second-Tallest

The new tower would continue to be the second-tallest of the four planned for the 16-acre (6.5-hectare) site, after 1 World Trade, which opened last year. Three World Trade Center, designed by British architect Richard Rogers, is under construction, and advertising firm GroupM will be its anchor tenant.

Ingels is co-designing a 60-acre expansion of the Googleplex, Google Inc.’s Mountain View, California, headquarters, with four enormous glass canopies stretched over steel pillars. In New York, the Danish architect designed the Durst Organization’s mountain-shaped residential building near the Hudson River along West 57th Street, scheduled to open next year.

“We’re honored and deeply humbled that we can contribute to the transformation of downtown Manhattan, which will restore the skyline that frames the 9/11 memorial park, and finally complete the World Trade Center,” Daria Pahhota, an Ingels spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview. She declined to describe the redesign the firm is working on.

While a fourth tower would complete the ensemble envisioned by architect Daniel Libeskind when he laid out the World Trade Center master plan in the early 2000s, it may also complicate Manhattan’s office market by adding unrented space. The completed 1 and 4 World Trade have almost 2 million square feet not yet spoken for, while 3 World Trade is being built with about 2 million square feet still unleased.

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