Former Times Square sex shop will transform into $80M office and retail complex

Richard Basciano’s Show World Center will now be known as the Hive

TRD New York /
Mar.March 12, 2019 02:00 PM

Show World Center and a rendering of Hive 43 at 303 West 42nd Street (Credit: Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York and The Hive)

Goodbye porn, hello PowerPoint.

A Times Square property that was notorious for being one of the neighborhood’s last remaining pornography businesses is turning into an $80 million boutique office and retail property.

Colliers and KRW have partnered to transform the adjacent buildings at 303 West 42nd Street and 300 West 43rd Street into the Hive, a complex that will offer about 126,000 square feet of office space and 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, according to the companies. The West 42nd Street site was best-known for years as the home of deceased porn magnate Richard Basciano’s Show World Center, one of the few sex shops that made it through the Giuliani administration’s porn crackdown in the 1990s and the redevelopment of Times Square.

Basciano died at age 91 in 2017, and his estate had filed plans with the city for an office conversion of the Show World building in May.

The redevelopment of the building is expected to include seven new storefronts, two new lobbies, a rooftop terrace and new electrical, elevator, heating and air conditioning systems. Construction kicked off in March, and work on the project should be finished in roughly 14 months.

“It’s just as comprehensive of a rehab as you can possibly do,” said KRW owner Kevin Wang. “Both of these buildings are demolished totally on the interiors. The only things that are left are essentially the slabs and columns.”

Colliers and KRW hope to attract technology, financial and media tenants to the Hive, and the firms have already inked a 15-year lease for the site with the Polish bakery chain Just Baked. The business will span roughly 600 square feet, and its rent will be slightly less than $400 per square foot. Brokers Jedd Horn and Jake Horowitz of Colliers represented Just Baked in the deal.

Alex Jinishian, who is on the Colliers leasing team, said they have had discussions about the building with roughly 15 tenants so far, and none of them have been bothered by the property’s seedy past.

“I think people recognize the transformative nature of New York City and where it’s going,” he said, “and this building, it’s not going to look anything like it did.”

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