By Roland Li
The Guardian newspaper is close to signing a lease at Thor Equities’ 536 Broadway for its Guardian America website, according to sources.
Sources said the British paper is seeking 8,000 to 9,000 s/f for the re-launch of the site, which shut down in 2009.
Cynthia Wasserberger, managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle, is representing the Guardian, according to sources. Wasserberger didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
Tenants at 536 Broadway, a 91,950 s/f, 11-story mixed-use building, include the Onion, a satirical newspaper, and a Levi’s clothing store. Thor Equities purchased the building for $30 million in 2008, according to city records.
The Guardian had previously looked at the ninth floor of 915 Broadway, a 12,880 s/f space that was occupied by the New York Observer before it moved last year to 321 West 44th Street, a building owned by publisher Jared Kushner.
ABS Partners Real Estate, which owns 915 Broadway, continues to market the space there. They declined to comment.
It’s the second time the Guardian has looked to grow in America. From 2007 to 2009, it operated the online Guardian America from a U.S. headquarters office in Washington, D.C. and a New York bureau.
But in 2009, the operation was folded into its main website and the company later laid off six production and editorial employees, mostly in its Washington office.
A spokeswoman for the Guardian didn’t return requests for comment by press time.
The Guardian’s search follows that of another British publication, the Daily Mail, which signed a lease in February for a new bureau at Zar Property’s 42 Greene Street. As Crain’s reported, the tabloid took 5,200 s/f, with an asking rent of $45 per s/f.
“[Media companies] typically require solid infrastructure” such as networking and internet, said David Zar, who represented the landlord in-house. He added that nearby public transportation was also a consideration.
“Media is a growing influence these days and we consider them solid tenants. Our tenant, Daily Mail, is ranked one of the leading online sites in the world,” said Zar.
Jamie Addeo of CresaPartners, who represented the Daily Mail in the lease, declined to comment.
Larger media tenants can have profound impacts on office leasing, as evidenced by Condé Nast’s 1 million square feet lease at One World Trade Center, which brokers have said will enhance the appeal of downtown.
In other major media moves, Mort Zuckerman’s Daily News and U.S. News and World Report recently moved to 4 New York Plaza, leaving its long-time home at 450 West 33rd Street, also the headquarters of the Associated Press. Newsweek has moved from 395 Hudson Street to 7 Hanover Square, but the magazine may join its new partner, the Daily Beast, at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC building at 550 West 18th Street.