The owners of the old New York Times building in Times Square want it to be a hub of new media companies and advertising firms, making their end vision sound a bit like the classic old New York recording industry hub the Brill Building.
Bloomberg's David M. Levitt has a big report Friday about how the Blackstone Group, which owns 12 floors of the building the Times vacated in 2007 for its swanky Renzo Piano-designed digs, is pursuing new media companies like Facebook and Amazon and hoping to make them tenants. Two weeks ago, Crain's Theresa Agovino noted Facebook's interest in the building, but Bloomberg's Levitt also points out that it's also courting the advertising firms that get the money to fund those Web media companies:
Besides Facebook and Amazon, companies that have looked at the Times building include London-based WPP Plc, the world’s largest advertising firm, which considered it for one of its subsidiaries, one of the brokers familiar with the matter said.
The building was one of “dozens of properties” looked at by Deutsch Inc., the advertising agency whose chairman is television personality Donny Deutsch, said Vonda LePage, a spokeswoman. The company is seeking 140,000 square feet and hasn’t made a decision yet, LePage said. Deutsch is currently at Google Inc.’s building at 111 Eighth Ave. in Chelsea, and has a renewal option there.
If they get the kinds of tenants they're hoping for, it sounds like Blackstone's on its way to creating the new media analogue to the old "hit factory," where recording studios, record labels, and musicians all worked in the same place.