Time Inc. is moving to Brooklyn! Well, some of them are. And their dogs.
According to an internal memo that Keith Kelly of The New York Post got his hands on, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp plans to send the company’s technology, production and engineering (TP&E) department to spacious new offices in Industry City, the so-called “SoHo of Sunset Park.” Also heading there will be a new “editorial innovation” team under former Entertainment Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Bean.
The rest of the company — which publishes over 90 magazines including Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, and InStyle — will be headed to Time Inc.’s new headquarters at 225 Liberty Street in downtown Manhattan.
The memo includes pictures of the unfinished Industry City space, with 55,000 square feet spread over two floors, along with designs of an open office structure including indoor slides and pinball machines.
The memo also announced that dogs would be welcome in the office, not a common sight in most major media offices. (Time was very careful, however, to designate “dog-free” zones for those who have allergies.) Catered lunches will give employees more choices than they will be able to find at the Industry City food court.
It’s tempting to speculate that this is the beginning of a trend. Maybe Time is recognizing that Brooklyn is, as Marty Markowitz recently said, the literary capital of the world. Maybe Time Inc. is looking for a little bit of that VICE Media Williamsburg hipster cachet.
Or, more likely, they ran out of space.
Time Inc. is a pretty conservative company, slow to make changes. When you hear them talking about pinball machines and dogs, it’s most likely not because of some deep desire to change the office culture, but because they don’t want the people who don’t fit at HQ to feel as if they’d been banished to the kids’ table. Instead, they get their own clubhouse. With their own slide!
It actually might be pretty nice for the techies and the new media creatives to have their own sanctuary away from the suits (who would probably never have visited their floor even if they were in the same building).
And Sunset Park and Industry City, while somewhat inconvenient even for many Brooklynites, is not Siberia. If Industry City gets that ferry it’s been wanting, downtown Manhattan will be only a boat ride away.
The dogs, however, will have to stay in Brooklyn.