26 August 2014
First Look Productions-The Intercept Swank Penthouse
From left: Glenn Greenwald, Pierre Omidyar and 114 Fifth Avenue
First Look Media, a technology-driven, independent journalism site launched
by eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar last year, inked a lease for three floors,
taking 58,206 square feet at 114 Fifth Avenue, off Union Square, sources
told The Real Deal.
Omidyars fledgling news operation, which he kick-started with initial
funding of $50 million, publishes the Intercept. That site is dedicated to
releasing National Security Agency documents stolen by Edward Snowden. The
Intercept launched in February and was co-founded by former Guardian US and
Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald, who is also a contributor to the site. The
Intercept is led by former Gawker editor-in-chief John Cook.
Currently located at 162 Fifth Avenue, the company signed a 10-year lease
in late May for three floors at 114 Fifth Avenue, where the asking rent on
the upper floors is $88 per foot, sources said. Thats far above the
average asking rent in Midtown South, which Colliers International reported
was $55.89 per square foot in May. First Look is taking two top floors 18
and 19 of the rehabilitated L&L Holding building located at the
corner of 17th Street, as well as the ninth floor. The building is about
70 percent leased even before the building is set to reopen in several months,
a source said.
The Commercial Observer first reported in March the tech firm was eying the
building, but at that time sources said the company was looking to lease
just one floor.
L&L, led by CEO David Levinson, acquired the 388,557-square foot building
in December 2012 for $165 million in a joint venture with private equity
firm Lubert-Adler, and began the ongoing modernization of the building.
Other high-profile tenants that have leased space in the property include
Mastercard for floors 10 through 12, and Mashable, for floors 14 and 15.
The leasing agent at the building, David Berkey, an executive vice president
at L&L, declined to comment. First Look did not immediately respond to
a request for comment.
Billionaire Omidyar announced the formation of First Look Media in 2013,
and The Intercept is the first publication to launch. First Look has been
poaching a slew of national reporters and bloggers in recent months to staff
up. Another publication, to be led by former Rolling Stone contributing editor
Matt Taibbi, is expected later this year.
Renederings below for real estate promotion. No NYC Department of
construction permit on record specifically for First Look spaces, only for
construction on Floors 2-18 and for tenants on other floors.
Temporary office at 162 5th Avenue