Viacom Inks New York’s Largest Lease Ever

In what may be the largest-ever Manhattan office lease, Viacom, Inc., has committed itself to remaining a tenant in SL Green Realty Corp.’s 56-story, two million SF 1515 Broadway through 2031,  Viacom is the company behind major cable networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon and BET.  The media company will expand into 1.6 million SF, which is expected to comprise the balance of the building’s office space after 2020.

Marc Holliday, SL Green’s CEO, said the decision to remain in Times Square was based on the company’s long-term presence in the market.  “The company has been a corporate anchor in Times Square for over 20 years and the extraordinary building branding opportunity provided in this lease will allow Viacom to increase its corporate visibility to millions of New York City visitors at the ‘Crossroads of the World’ for years to come,” he said.  “The transaction reaffirms the desirability for trophy assets located in the prime areas of Midtown Manhattan.”

“It’s a seminal moment for New York City and Times Square,” said Andrew Mathias, SL Green president.  ”  The transaction puts to rest speculation that Viacom might depart Times Square after its leases expire in 2015,” as Manhattan projects such as the World Trade Center and Hudson Yards try to attract anchor tenants.

SL Green bought 1515 Broadway during the market downturn of 2002. Over the last decade, the building had an extensive makeover which included repositioning of all retail space, a complete redevelopment and revenue enhancement with LED advertising signage.  In addition to being anchored by Viacom, the building is home to the Minskoff Theater, one of the city’s largest live performance theaters and Best Buy Theater, which has become New York’s premier rock concert venue.