ViacomCBS has clinched a sale of the CBS Building known as Black Rock for $760 million to real estate investment firm Harbor Group International. It’s the first sale of the landmark building at 51 West 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan since it opened in 1964. The media giant put the building on the block in 2019 as it looked to shed noncore assets, but a sale was delayed by the pandemic. As the former owner-occupier, ViacomCBS will lease back its space on a short term basis.
My first thought when seeing Viacom’s announcement that William S. Paley’s architectural masterpiece Black Rock will be put on the market was horror. But then I checked. Black Rock is on the National Register of Historic Places, so I, for one, breathed a sigh of relief.
Three days after the long-awaited merger of CBS and Viacom closed, the combined company has decided to sell off the fabled headquarters building of CBS known as Black Rock. Bob Bakish, CEO of ViacomCBS, confirmed the company is proceeding with the divestiture during an appearance at the UBS TMT Conference in New York.