Conde Nast Eyes Shift to New Jersey, Cutting NYC Offices

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Conde Nast is exploring taking office space in New Jersey and reducing its presence in Manhattan as part of a bid to cut costs, according to people familiar with the matter.

The magazine publisher, a high-profile tenant at One World Trade Center, is looking for roughly 400,000 square feet (37,161 square meters) of office space split between Manhattan and the New Jersey waterfront, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private.

Conde Nast, owned by Advance Publications, is struggling as print publications lose advertising revenue. It has about a million square feet of space at One World Trade, some of which it has subleased in recent years after cutting staff. The company has been looking to exit or modify the lease.

“Advance continues to be in discussions about bringing the lease in 1WTC into line with current market conditions and its ongoing needs at that location,” a representative for Advance said in a statement. “We are also considering alternative solutions to address these requirements.”

Conde Nast, the publisher of prestigious titles including Vogue, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, has been in talks for months with its current landlords -- the Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The company is an anchor tenant at One World Trade, originally signing a 25-year lease. It’s unclear whether the firm will be able to exit or change the lease.

“One World Trade Center is proud to be the home of Conde Nast, which includes some of the world’s most iconic and respected brands,” Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for Durst, said in a statement. “Conde Nast has 19 years left on their lease and we don’t expect them to go anywhere.”

Conde Nast’s move south from Times Square, announced in 2011, was pivotal as landlords tried to draw tenants downtown in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11. The company started moving employees to One World Trade late in 2014.

The company’s bid to cut its presence in Manhattan comes as many firms reassess their office needs after months with employees at home. Office space available for rent rose to the highest level since 2003, reaching 13.5% in November, according to a report by Colliers International.

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