Mets Network SNY Said Close to World Trade Center Lease

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SportsNet New York, the cable network that broadcasts New York Mets baseball games, is close to an agreement to move its offices to 4 World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, a person with knowledge of the talks said.

The deal may be done by early next month, said the person, who asked not to be named because a lease hasn’t been signed. The network currently rents about 39,000 square feet (3,700 square meters) plus a studio at the Time-Life Building in Midtown, which magazine publisher Time Inc. is vacating to move downtown.

SNY, like the Mets, is owned by Fred Wilpon’s Sterling Equities Inc. Since going on the air 10 years ago, the network has become one of the most lucrative of Wilpon’s companies, which include a number of real estate investment and management firms. SNY’s ground-floor studio, across the street from Radio City Music Hall, is routinely surrounded by onlookers trying to get their faces on TV.

A lease by the network would give a lift to developer Larry Silverstein’s efforts to fill up 4 World Trade Center, which opened in late 2013 as the first new tower at the 16-acre (6.5-hectare) development site. The 2.3 million-square-foot skyscraper still has about 860,000 square feet available, according to research firm CoStar Group Inc.

Recent leases at the building include the digital marketing firm MediaMath Inc., stock-selling startup IEX Group and investment-research company Morningstar Inc.

SNY spokesman Kevin Sornatale and Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties Inc., declined to comment. Bob McGrath of brokerage CBRE Group Inc., which represents both the channel and Silverstein’s World Trade Center operations, also declined to comment. Brian Mahoney, spokesman for Time-Life Building owner Rockefeller Group, didn’t return voice messages.

Building Makeover

The Time-Life Building, commissioned by Time Inc. in the 1950s, is getting a makeover as its dominant occupant departs. The 2 million-square-foot tower’s owners have renamed the property for its street address, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, and are remaking its offices to accommodate multiple tenants.

Time Inc. is moving its headquarters to Brookfield Place, an office complex west of the World Trade Center.

The Mets, who haven’t reached the postseason since 2006, are first in the National League East with a 64-56 record. The Mets’ owners in June refinanced about $625 million of team- and SNY-related debt to loans with lower interest rates.

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