Grand Ole Opry tuning up for 1604 Broadway in Times Square

Long-running Tennessee country music hub will open restaurant, music venue and bar
By Rich Bockmann and Adam Pincus | May 26, 2016 08:00AM

Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry is heading north … of the Times Square bow tie.

Ryman Hospitality, the publicly traded parent company of the country music institution, signed a lease for slightly more than 27,000 square feet at 1604 Broadway, according to Cushman & Wakefield, where the company plans to launch a themed restaurant with a music venue and bar.

“There’s no doubt that Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry are the homes of country music, but the genre’s incredible growth and mainstream appeal means that there are now lovers of country music all over the world,” Ryman Chairman and CEO Colin Reed told The Tennessean in March. “This venue will bring to Times Square and its nearly 40 million annual global visitors a rich country music heritage and an opportunity to experience the unique country music lifestyle.”

While Ryman announced plans for a Times Square restaurant earlier this year, the company did not disclose the location. A recent market report by Cushman & Wakefield revealed the Opry’s new home to be the five-story retail property at the corner of 49th Street and Broadway is controlled through a ground lease by Atlas Capital Group.

Neither Ryman nor Atlas responded to requests for comment.

The property sits just north of the public plaza area of the Times Square “bow tie,” which commands the second-highest asking rents for retail in the city.

Average asking rents for ground-floor space on Broadway and Seventh Avenue between 42nd and 47th streets was $2,363 in the first half of the year, second only to Upper Fifth Avenue, the most expensive shopping strip in the world.

A brokerage team at RKF including Robert Futterman, Ross Berkowitz and Joshua Strauss marketed the property. RKF did not respond to a request for comment.

Atlas, owner of the Factory office building in Long Island City and a minority partner in the redevelopment of the St. John’s Terminal at 550 Washington Street in the Hudson Square neighborhood, bought the lease in August 2015 for $15.5 million from Torchlight Loan Services, which had received the distressed property three years earlier. Lessees Jeff Sutton and SL Green were facing eviction by fee owner Farmore Realty after their biggest tenant, the Spotlight Live club, stopped making payments after a pair of murders at the nightspot in 2008 sullied business.