Conde Nast refusing to pay rent on One World Trade, reports say

Company now in discussion with landlord to bring lease 'in line with current market conditions'

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 10 February 2021 23:41 GMT
One World Trade Centre as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey
One World Trade Centre as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey (Getty Images)

Magazine publisher Conde Nast is refusing to pay $2.4m in rent at One World Trade in New York City in a dispute with the landlord, according to reports.

The publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, is an anchor tenant of the landmark skyscraper in Lower Manhattan built beside the memorial to the original World Trade Centre.

Since the opening of the tallest building in the US in 2014, the company has leased 1.2 million square feet from the landlord, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 

Initially taking space on floors 20 to 44, over the years Conde Nast has subleased 150,000 square feet of its space to its own tenants as its needs changed.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Advance Publications Inc, owner of Conde Nast, is now in discussions “about bringing the lease in 1WTC into line with current market conditions and its ongoing needs at that location”, according to a statement released on Tuesday.

The $2.4m in lapsed rent payments is just for the month of January. Conde Nast would reportedly like to reduce its square footage as well as the rent per square foot.

With most employees working remotely as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep offices close to empty, the need for large expensive spaces makes little economic sense.

The Port Authority says that it has “strong rights to enforce full payment” and that their tenant is capable of satisfying its legal obligations.

The move downtown by Conde Nast in 2014 was seen as coup for the developers of One World Trade — it was hoped that by luring a major brand name from Midtown Manhattan, others would follow.

By February 2020 One World Trade was 93 per cent occupied. 

As the economic realities of the pandemic set in, Conde Nast was forced to lay off approximately 100 workers and furlough many others.

The company is also looking to take alternate office space across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

The Independent has contacted Conde Nast for further comment.

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