Discovery picks NYC home, adds jobs in Sterling

WASHINGTON — Silver Spring, Maryland-based Discovery Communications has settled on 230 Park Ave. South for its new Manhattan headquarters, and will begin making the move late next year.

Discovery announced in January it would leave its longtime Silver Spring headquarters for New York, following its $12 billion acquisition of Knoxville, Tennessee-based Food Network and HGTV owner Scripps Networks Interactive.

Discovery employs about 1,300 people in Maryland.

Discovery has signed a long-term lease for 360,000 square feet, the majority of the building, and will house at least 1,000 employees at the new location.

In addition to relocating its Silver Spring headquarters, Discovery will consolidate several of its existing New York office locations to the new space. Moving begins in fall 2019 and will continue through mid-2020, following a renovation of the new facility, Discovery said.

The 230 Park Ave. South building is a 13-story, 377,000-square-foot space built in 1895, according to building owner TFC Cornerstone, whose portfolio also includes more than a half dozen buildings in D.C.

Discovery’s new home is in a top-notch Manhattan location, between Union Square and Gramercy Park.

“It is an attractive central Manhattan location with a lot of other media companies located there, particularly in the new media space,” Discovery spokesman Bill Launder told WTOP.

The location is just blocks from Facebook’s New York office at 770 Broadway, and Spotify’s New York base at 45 West 18th St.

“The New Discovery is transforming into a different kind of global media company, and where and how we work is a critical foundation for our future success and growth,” said David Zaslav, the president and chief executive of Discovery.

“We are energized by our fantastic new home in New York – the media capital of the world – where we will write our company’s next chapter. We look forward to bringing our world-class employees together in a creative and collaborative workspace in one of Manhattan’s most vibrant and dynamic neighborhoods.”

Discovery says its new global headquarters will include open floor plans and loft-like features, a ground floor studio and production space, a large outdoor rooftop terrace, full-service wellness center and a dedicated Discovery lobby.

Separately on Thursday, Discovery announced it would invest $16 million in its media distribution facility in Sterling, Virginia, and add 240 jobs. That location has originated Discovery feeds for 13 years, and is now the company’s global technology and operations hub. As part of the Sterling expansion, Discovery will receive a $500,0000 grant from Virginia. The Loudoun County Board will vote on a matching grant at a future meeting.

Discovery also will continue to maintain a Maryland network hub that will house other functions, such as government relations and its Discovery Education Division.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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