Paramount Building slated for $50M makeover

April 22, 2013 08:30AM

The renowned Paramount Building in Times Square is getting a $50 million makeover through a low-cost financing deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Paramount Leasehold L.P. will spend the money on capital improvements such as new windows, elevators and a renovated lobby at the 33-story, 780,000-square-foot tower, at 1501 Broadway, sources told the Journal. The landlord just secured a 10-year, $130 million mortgage with an annual interest rate of 3.16 percent  from Cantor Commercial Real Estate. Meridian Capital Group negotiated the loan. 

“Given its prime location in [the] bow-tie of Times Square, there was definitely a tremendous amount of capital chasing the deal,” Meridian’s Keith Kurland, who worked with Aaron Appel on the transaction, told the Journal.

Built in 1926 as the East Coast headquarters of Paramount Pictures, the building was once one of the tallest in Manhattan. It is currently 70 percent leased, primarily to theater-district attorneys and entertainment tenants such as Hard Rock Café and Bubba Gump Shrimp. But it could be a good spot for technology companies, Arthur Mirante, tri-state president of leasing agent Avison Young, told the Journal. Owners may also put in an additional entrance on 43rd Street, he said.

Asking rents would be up to $70 a square foot for the tower, in mid-60s for the space just below the tower and mid-50s for floors four and five, Mirante added. [WSJ, first item] —Hiten Samtani