ABC News Will Move Downtown

By A.J. Katz Comment

For years, the television news universe has been focused above 42nd Street in New York. NBC News (and more recently MSNBC) are headquartered at Rockefeller Plaza. The News Corp. building–home to Fox News—is located on the west side of Sixth Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets. CNN’s New York operation is at Columbus Circle on 59th/60th Streets. CBS News’s studios are on West 57th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. ABC News has called Lincoln Square—located at the intersection of West 66th Street and Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side— home since the 1980s.

Well, change is coming to that dynamic because Disney announced today that it  has purchased the rights to develop the Trinity Church Real Estate-owned property at 4 Hudson Square in New York. The property will be the new site of Disney’s New York operations. Disney has sold its Upper West Side campus to Silverstein Properties for $1 billion.

Under a transaction valued at $650 million, Disney will acquire the rights to develop the 4 Hudson Square site for 99 years.

“Today we’re announcing plans to build an incredible new state-of-the-art facility at 4 Hudson Square in downtown Manhattan that will ensure our employees have everything they need to do their best work and lead the way forward. In addition to being LEED certified for environmental responsibility and efficiency, the new building will also incorporate the latest technology as well as the ability to adapt to the next generation of technological advances,” Disney chairman Bob Iger said in a statement. “This move represents an historic step forward toward our long-term vision for our New York operations. The Hudson Square district is rapidly becoming a dynamic, innovative hub for media, technology and other creative businesses. We are pleased and proud to be joining this exciting community and look forward to investing in the growth and development of the neighborhood.”

The new energy and resource-efficient building to be built at 4 Hudson Square will include offices and production spaces, including flagship homes for ABC News, WABC-TV and Live With Kelly and Ryan. Disney Streaming Services will also move to the new headquarters from its current location in Chelsea Market.

Good Morning America, however, will continue to originate from its Times Square studio.

The 4 Hudson Square site covers a full city block bordered by Hudson, Varick, Van Dam and Spring Streets in the quickly developing Hudson Square district, which is adjacent to Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, and near the West Village. The neighborhood is also home to Cadillac’s New York offices. Viacom has offices in the neighborhood, as does advertising powerhouse Wieden + Kennedy, to name a few well-known tenants.

“We are excited to welcome Disney to the vibrant and growing Hudson Square area,” Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, rector of Trinity Church Wall Street, said in a statement. “This is a significant development in Trinity’s centuries-long commitment to this neighborhood and to the area’s continuing growth and transformation. We’re especially pleased that the transaction will help further Trinity’s mission to serve the people of New York City and around the world through our programs and ministries.”

Will the new building continue to carry the name of Barbara Walters? What will happen to Peter Jennings Way, which is what ABC News’ West 66th Street block was renamed in 2006? That remains to be seen …

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