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Discovery Communications To Leave Silver Spring, Moving HQ To New York City

The former Discovery Communications' HQ building in Downtown Silver Spring

Discovery Communications plans to move out of its downtown Silver Spring HQ, its home since 2003.

The media company's CEO told employees Tuesday Discovery will move its global HQ to New York City and plans to sell One Discovery Place, its 10-story HQ building at Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road in Silver Spring, NBC Washington reports

With 1,300 employees at the 545K SF building, Discovery's HQ served as an economic development anchor for the Maryland suburb. With a total office inventory of 4.9M SF, Silver Spring had a 12.6% vacancy rate in Q4, according to Cushman & Wakefield

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett told Bethesda Magazine the county and state made "a tremendous offer" to keep Discovery in Silver Spring, but he said its decision to move to New York responds to today's economic model for the television industry. 

The company expects the closure and sale of the HQ to occur in 2019, CEO David Zaslav told employees. Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer told Bethesda Magazine Discovery plans to move its creative talent to New York City, though he did not specify an exact location, and its business positions will move to offices in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Discovery Communications, which owns the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, in July announced the $14.6B acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. In September it unveiled plans to invest $10M to renovate its Silver Spring HQ and consolidate 230 employees from a nearby location.