Times Square is getting a little too popular.
As more and more tourists visit the neighborhood, landlords looking to open a business or an office in the are are increasingly worried that Times Square is getting too crowded, according to the New York Times.
“It’s so successful as a tourist destination that people say it’s too congested for New Yorkers to conduct business,” Howard Fiddle, vice chairman at the real estate services company CBRE, told the newspaper.
Crowds in Times Square have been growing since 2009, after the city closed part of Broadway between 42nd and 47th streets, thus creating public plazas and more pedestrian space. Roughly 480,000 pedestrians pass through Times Square every day, according to the newspaper. Before 2009, this number was 350,000.
“Foot traffic has increased,” Sherwood Equities’ Jeffrey Katz, owner of multiple buildings n the area, told the newspaper. “The retail is doing great; hotels are doing great. The plazas just exploded the rents. It’s beyond even my imagination.”
Some landlords are finding ways to shield their tenants from the crowds. Those who work at 1540 Broadway — the Bertelsmann Building, owned by HSBC Alternative Investments and Edge Fund Advisors — can use a cafeteria on the eighth floor as well as a gym to avoid stepping outside. [NYT] — Claire Moses