Major League Baseball Said to Lease New NYC Headquarters

  • Rockefeller Group lands MLB as anchor in ex-Time & Life tower
  • League to leave locations on Park Avenue, in Chelsea Market

Major League Baseball agreed to move its headquarters to the former Time & Life Building in midtown Manhattan, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said.

The league will take the fourth through ninth floors of the 48-story Rockefeller Center tower, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the agreement has yet to be announced. The league plans to consolidate from two locations, Brookfield Property Partners LP’s 245 Park Ave., and 75 Ninth Ave., part of Jamestown LP’s Chelsea Market. Financial terms of the lease, planned for completion Thursday, weren’t given.

The Time & Life Building, now known by its street address, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, was left without any long-term leases after Time Inc. and SportsNet New York made deals to move to buildings in lower Manhattan, the people said. Time has already left for a building in Brookfield Place, while SNY, the cable network that broadcasts New York Mets baseball games, is scheduled to leave next year for 4 World Trade Center. Major League Baseball will lease about 400,000 square feet (37,000 square meters) in the 2.1 million-square-foot Avenue of the Americas tower.

Representatives for Rockefeller Group, owner of the tower, and Major League Baseball declined to comment on the lease. Andrew Brent, a Brookfield spokesman, and Elizabeth Latino, a Jamestown spokeswoman, declined to comment.

MLB Network

With the agreement, the building will be getting a new television tenant: MLB Network, the cable channel operated by the league. The ground-floor studios that SNY uses for its broadcasts probably will be turned into a baseball retail store, one of the people said.

The lease will include the right to use the building’s street-level plaza for special events, as well as an eighth-floor outdoor terrace, according to the people. The league would take possession of the space in 2018 and be fully moved in during 2019.

With its longtime tenants leaving, the tower has been undergoing a $600 million renovation by the architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Elements of the project include replacing the exterior glass to allow more light inside the building and restoration of the lobby and elevators.

The skyscraper, completed in 1959, was custom-built for Henry Luce’s magazine empire and designed by the firm of architect Wallace Harrison. The George A. Fuller Co., which oversaw its construction, also built the United Nations Headquarters, the Lever House and the Seagram Building.

Both Major League Baseball and Rockefeller Group worked with teams of brokers from CBRE Group Inc., the world’s largest real estate services firm.

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