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Conde Nast may break lease on World Trade Centre headquarters six years after signing $2billion deal

Conde Nast may break its lease on its One World Trade Centre headquarters just six years after signing the $2billion deal, as it is reportedly looking for a new HQ in midtown Manhattan.

Advance Publications, who own Conde Nast, is trying to renegotiate or find a way out of its 25-year lease just six years after signing, Variety reported.

The real estate deal from 2014 was worth roughly $2billion, and gave the publishers 21 floors of skyscraper office space in lower Manhattan.  

The media company, which includes prestigious magazine titles such as Vanity Fair, Vogue and The New Yorker, left its home at Four Time Square in 2014. 

Before the move to Time Square, Conde Nast was homed at Madison Avenue from 1996.

But Conde Nast may be leaving its latest prime real-estate location, as coronavirus has led to more staff working from home, as well as putting the magazine industry under more pressure amid economic concerns.

A company spokesperson said: ‘Advance Publications is in discussions about bringing the lease at One World Trade Center into line with current market conditions and its ongoing needs at this location. It is considering alternative locations to address these requirements.’

The publisher may try to buy its way out of its lease by paying a fraction of what it owes, insiders told Variety. 

The company moved 3,400 people into the tower but downsized following multi-million dollar advertising revenue losses, according to the New York Post.

It is not currently known how many people are working in the Conde Nast offices, but many staff began working from home amid the coronavirus lockdown, leaving more vacated office space.

One source said that Conde Nast’s current CEO Roger Lynch is looking to move the company to midtown Manhattan, the New York Post reported.

Mr Lynch has decided that Conde Nast will not need as much office space moving forward and is looking to downsize.

Conde Nast was forced to lay off around 100 members of staff in the United States, after the company had to begin cutting pay and furloughing staff worldwide in April.

Last week, Stan Duncan, the global Chief People officer at the company, sent an email to employees, explaining why some had been asked to clear out their offices.

According to a survey, more than 70% of the publisher’s staff expressed interest in ‘some form of flexible or full-time remote work arrangement’, the email said.  

It continued: ‘We are working on the details and process for longer-term remote work agreements, and will have more to share on the program and how to apply soon.’

The email added that they are beginning planning a different ‘layout for space to accommodate flexible work schedules’ and adhere to social distancing measures. 

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