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Trinity Church on Wall Street. The real state division of Trinity Church on Wall St. (pictured here) sold one of its downtown office buildings to the Walt Disney Company.

NEW YORK CITY—Robert A. Iger, chair and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and the Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, rector of Trinity Church Wall Street, announced Disney has purchased the rights to develop Trinity’s property at 4 Hudson Square in New York City. Disney will house its New York operations at the location for 99 years. The transaction was valued at $650 million.

Iger says Disney plans to build state-of-the-art facilities in the downtown Manhattan location, where employees will have all they need to do their best work and to lead the industry. In addition to being LEED-certified, Iger says the new building will also incorporate the latest technology and ability to adapt to the next generation of technological advances.

“This move represents a 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,” says Iger. He adds Disney looks forward to investing in the growth and development of the neighborhood.

 “This is a significant development in Trinity’s centuries-long commitment to this neighborhood and to the area’s continuing growth and transformation,” says Lupfer. “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.”

ABC building at 77 W. 66th St. Part of Disney’s UWS campus, ABC building at 77 W. 66th St./ photo by Betsy Kim

Many of the company’s New York operations from several locations will relocate to the new development. This will include the Upper West Side Campus which was sold to Silverstein Properties in April for reportedly more than $1 billion. That property runs along West 66th Street and West End Avenue.

The 4 Hudson Square building will include offices and production spaces. The joint press release issued at the time of the acquisition states WABC-TV, the city’s most-watched station; ABC News; “Live with Kelly and Ryan” and “The View” will operate from the new facility. Disney Streaming Services will relocate to the new headquarters from their current location in Chelsea Market. However, “Good Morning America” will continue to be broadcast from its Times Square studio.

4 Hudson Square covers a full city block bordered by Hudson, Varick, Vandam and Spring streets. The property was originally a land grant given by Queen Anne to the church in 1705. Many of the offices in the Hudson Square district were constructed in the 1900s as buildings for printing presses. Today, however, the neighborhood has been rebranded as a creative industries and business hub.

Disney chose Silverstein Properties as the buyer of its Upper West Side complex due to the real estate firm’s successful track record of development in Manhattan. In addition, the real estate company provided an explicit, stated commitment to respectfully engage with the city and the local community. Disney will lease back the facilities for up to five years during the construction of 4 Hudson Square, ensuring continuity without disruptions to current operations.

In the 4 Hudson Square transaction, Eastdil Secured advised Disney and CBRE represented Trinity. For the legal matters, Kramer Levin represented Disney in both the Hudson Square and Upper West Side transactions, Fried Frank advised Trinity, and Skadden served as counsel for Silverstein Properties. 

Betsy Kim

Betsy Kim is the bureau chief, East Coast, and New York City reporter for Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. As a lawyer and journalist, Betsy has worked as the director of editorial and content for LexisNexis Lawyers.com, a TV/multi-media journalist for NBC and CBS affiliated TV stations in the Midwest, and an associate producer at Court TV.

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