Times Square in flux

As office tenants depart, the city’s most iconic plaza finds itself at another crossroads

Aug.August 01, 2016 11:00 AM
Times Square

Times Square

Times Square, the world’s most famous intersection, is no stranger to transformation. Over the past two decades, it’s gone from a porn hub to a Disneyfied tourist mecca. But there’s been another change in the works, one that is happening up high as opposed to on the ground. Beginning with the high-profile departure of Condé Nast from the Durst Organization’s 4 Times Square in 2014, some large office tenants have been fleeing to newer buildings, like those in the Financial District and Hudson Yards. Although its popularity abounds, Times Square is not always a pleasant experience. The most recent complaint stemmed from the parading, costumed characters and “desnudas,” whose overreaching presence provoked a rebuke from no less than Mayor Bill de Blasio. In June, the city began restricting public performers and panhandlers to certain areas in public plazas. Crowds are, of course, a boon to retailers, who also benefit from the district’s unusually long, 18-hour shopping day. For Joshua Strauss of RKF TRData LogoTINY, the retail leasing and investment sales brokerage, Times Square’s quandary speaks to an old adage.  “One guy’s problem is another guy’s benefit,” he said.

107

The number of police officers stationed on any given day in Times Square in 2015, up from 46 the previous year. Between 1994 and 2014, violent crimes in Times Square dropped from 982 to 91.

cover-magazine66.4 million

The annual number of subway riders who entered the Times Square-42nd Street station in 2015, a 14 percent increase since 2010. In the MTA’s annual subway ridership ranking, Times Square was No. 1, followed by Grand Central-42nd Street and 34th Street-Herald Square.

3,000

The number of workers Condé Nast, the publisher of magazines such as Vogue and The New Yorker, moved out of its former headquarters at 4 Times Square to One World Trade Center in 2014. Since then, law firms Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom and White & Case have also decided to leave the area.

Hard-rock-hotel-logo445

The number of rooms planned for the Hard Rock Hotel New York at 159 West 48th Street, which is slated to open in 2019. Developer Extell spent $46M assembling the site in 2015. Even during the recession, occupancy rates in Times Square stayed above 80 percent.

3

The number of times TripAdvisor named the 600-room Hotel Carter the dirtiest hotel in the U.S. In 2015, developer Joseph Chetrit bought the former flophouse at 250 West 43rd Street for $192M, becoming the victor of a bidding war that included nearly two dozen players. 

gavel1990

The year the State Supreme Court ruled that New York State could take possession of six historic Times Square theaters and other buildings for redevelopment, paving the way for the area’s reinvention. Back in 1981, Rolling Stone called West 42nd Street the “sleaziest block in America.”

$2,363

The average asking rent per square foot for available ground-floor retail space along Broadway and Seventh Avenue between West 42nd and West 47th streets. Rents here are outranked only by those on prime Fifth Avenue.

SILO_shutterstock_181797065400,000

The number of daily people who walk through Times Square’s pedestrian plaza. That’s more than Union Square, which sees 383,000 people a day.

$2.5M

The monthly cost to advertise on an eight-story-tall digital billboard wrapped around the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway, when it debuted in late 2014. The block-long sign, which spans 45th and 46th streets, was built by Vornado. By comparison, One Times Square generates more than $23M in annual ad revenues.

50×10

The dimensions in feet of the teal-colored “designated activity zone” where costumed characters, topless women, ticket sellers and other street peddlers can legally operate in Times Square. In June, the city issued new color-coded maps of the area, to mixed reviews. A violet express lane is for walking, while a lime-green or “Chill” zone is for sitting and eating.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
Matt Lauer exposes Hamptons estate to the market
 Fredrik Eklund and the property (Getty, Steve Frankel)
Fredrik Eklund lists Bel Air mansion for rent as family moves to “forever home”
Fredrik Eklund lists Bel Air mansion for rent as family moves to “forever home”
Gordon Ramsey and his Lucky Cat restaurant (Lucky Cat)
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
Clockwise: 138 Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx, 305 East 61st Street, 161 Lexington Avenue and 539 West 54th Street (Google Maps)
Dozen deals spell big week for Manhattan investment sales
Dozen deals spell big week for Manhattan investment sales
Lever House set for $100M redevelopment, restoration
Lever House set for $100M redevelopment, restoration
Lever House set for $100M redevelopment, restoration
Smile! BDG nabs $125M refinancing at Harlem multifamily
Smile! BDG nabs $125M refinancing at Harlem multifamily
Smile! BDG nabs $125M refinancing at Harlem multifamily
PS 64 at 605 East 9th St and MRC’s Josh Zegen (Google Maps, LinkedIn)
East Village’s languishing PS 64 nears foreclosure
East Village’s languishing PS 64 nears foreclosure
WeWork buys Dallas-based Common Desk in first acquisition since going public
WeWork buys Dallas-based Common Desk in first acquisition since going public
WeWork buys Dallas-based Common Desk in first acquisition since going public
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...