Despite increasingly heightened rumors about a DC Comics move to Los Angeles, Marvel Comics just became the first of the Big Two comics companies to announce that they're moving... to 135 West 50th Street, better known as the Sports Illustrated Building, a 60,000-square foot space a few miles away from their current location in New York City. According to a story in The Commercial Observer:

"Marvel Entertainment's current lease at 417 Fifth Avenue was expiring within the year and this was a great opportunity to house its headquarter offices on one floor," said Robert Silver of Newmark Knight Frank, who represented the tenant. Robert Alexander and Christopher Mansfield of CB Richard Ellis represented Alliance Bernstein.

Rents in the Sports Illustrated Building are reportedly in the area of $54 per square foot, making Marvel's nine-year lease quite an investment. This would also appear to preclude a relocation of Marvel's publishing division to Los Angeles, and commits them to New York City for nearly a decade.Presently, Marvel occupies multiple floors at its current location, which could be seen as somewhat cramped for one of the Walt Disney Company's most auspicious subsidiaries. Marvel has for the past ten years or so operated in modest conditions, with most editors sharing offices and hardly a secretary in sight. This stripped down approach was a necessity following the company's trouble with bankruptcy in the 1990s, but staffers in the Joe Quesada regime will tell you it works out for the best, and that the leaner, meaner Marvel office is an unpretentious environment that cultivates camaraderie and collaboration.

Let's hope that spirit stays with the company in its decidedly more luxurious digs.

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