New retail planned by Blackstone to complement Midtown plaza

Blackstone Group plans to increase the attractiveness of the public
plaza Along 42nd Street between Times Square and Bryant Park with new
retail space, the Wall Street Journal reported. The plans include new retail in Equity Office’s tower at
1095 Sixth Avenue and in a renovated three-story building at 120 West
42nd Street, that will also have two underground levels.

The entire
$25 million project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2012. With
the plaza already opened last December, Blackstone hopes that the new retail
and The Plaza will complement each other going forward. The Plaza‘s purpose is
“mostly to add value to” Blackstone’s tower at 1095 Sixth Avenue between 42nd and 41st streets,
Bradley Mendelson, the Cushman & Wakefield executive vice president
hired to market the retail space, said.

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Daniel Biederman, president of the not-for-profit Bryant Park Management, noted
that the park has been doing surprisingly well. Unlike many other successful similar parks, this park has fixed
seating areas, little programmed use and multiple grade changes on the ground.

Blackstone plans to continue to improve the park by shifting the
location of a subway entrance toward Sixth Avenue, and replacing the subway station’s current
space with a two-story retail addition to the office building at 11095 Sixth Avenue,
removing a large, sheltered space at the top of the descending staircase that draws homeless people.

“Times Square has pushed west to
Eighth Avenue. Now it’s going to push eastward to Sixth Avenue. It
just takes that first effort to get it done,” said Alan Schmerzler, a senior director at Cushman & Wakefield who is working on marketing the space.[WSJ]

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