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New Home for Nonstop News

Though the Loeb & Loeb real estate team is no stranger to complex lease negotiations, finalizing plans for News Corp and Fox Corporation to extend their tenancies in 1211 Avenue of the Americas for at least another 15 years had some unusual sticking points … namely, allowing for a multiyear, complex space renovation while also allowing for planned (and unplanned) news broadcasts.
The terms called for substantial renovations to the interior and exterior of the building, including the plaza surrounding the broadcast studios and the studios themselves. Heavy construction was scheduled to take place over several years. All this while simultaneously allowing for the uninterrupted production and distribution of the news.

Because the two separate leases span approximately 1.2 million square feet of office space, they collectively represented the largest leasing deal in Manhattan that year. In addition to the sheer size of the deal, a massive capital commitment was required from the building to fund the required renovations to the building campus, including upgrades to aesthetic and mechanical elements, as well as placemaking amenities.

How did we do it?

With the help of the construction teams, we arrived at a careful sequencing of the work to ensure that there was never more than one studio offline at a time. We also made certain that the landlord and tenant both had a sense of certainty around the construction process, as well as the flexibility to deal with unknowns that would inevitably arise.

To build flexibility into the process, we provided for quarterly micro-scheduling, and drafted pause periods into the agreement that allowed for construction work to stop for planned outdoor broadcasts on the plaza, as well as to facilitate special coverage of events of all kinds … from U.S. elections to the World Cup Finals. And perhaps most interestingly, we drafted clauses that allowed for breaking news “breaks.” The tenants needed the ability to demand construction pauses—in short order—to accommodate world events that, unfortunately, could drop at a moment’s notice and couldn’t be missed. It would not do to have an outdoor broadcast celebrating a coronation or other such event marred by the loud clang of construction machinery!

In short, we focused on scheduling and cooperation that allowed the parties to adapt and share experiences along the way, and we built a collaborative process that allowed for shared success.

And then what happened?

Usually, once a new lease is inked, the deal is done. However, not with this one … and Loeb & Loeb knew this would be the case and have gladly stayed engaged. Well after execution, our team has continued meeting with the construction teams to facilitate adherence to the micro-scheduling process established in the lease and to review and amend process points as necessary as the parties forge forward and renovations take shape.

Connected thinking matters when it comes to ensuring the smooth broadcasting of live TV to millions every day, and we can’t wait to see the new building campus and news headquarters that emerge ready for the future.