TIMES SQUARE; THE RETAIL NETWORK
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|After an $85M renovation of Crowne Plaza Times Square, a unique opportunity has opened up—ground-floor retail on Broadway between W. 48th and 49th. This is the first time the space has been available in over a decade.|
|We met with owner City Investment Fund's Nan Molofsky and Grubb & Ellis' leasing agents Henry Goldfarb and Stanley Lindenfeld at the hotel to find out more. Renovations included expanding retail to 8,700 SF on the ground floor, with 3k of lower level space. Hershey's already anchors, and the available space is directly north. The best part about it, Nan says, is the multi-storied branding opportunity: a 750-SF LED mesh sign to show videos and ads, so high-tech it's see-through from the hotel interior, first ever in the U.S.|
|Tenants have yet another branding opp: an LED ticker or sign can be installed above the storefronts on the 135 feet of frontage on Broadway and 110 feet on W. 49th, visible to Broadway's southbound traffic. Another perk: the building comes with a lot of "free" ads—the space often shows up on social networking and photo sites after tourists snap pictures of themselves in front of Hershey's and M&M's World across the street, Henry says.|
|CIF is asking $600 SF for the space, a number easily attainable despite today's market, they say. Stanley notes that Times Square hasn't fallen as fast as other tourist markets. The more-affordable Crowne Plaza is marketing itself toward biz travelers who can no longer stay at the Mandarin or Four Seasons on expense accounts. And retail remains a hot commodity: Forever 21 recently inked a 100k SF lease at 1540 B'way, and the Grubb & Ellis brokers have already received interest from luxury and mass-market retailers looking to break into Times Square.|
|If you're hungry, stop by Crowne's newly renovated Brasserie 1605 on the second floor. Executive assistant managers Gerry Hughes and Joe Verde recently hired Keith Williams, a chef from The Modern and Jean-Georges' Vong, a rare culinary talent for a hotel eatery (we hear the Cuban sandwich, chicken pot pie and lobster lasagna are excellent). CIF also renovated all 770 guest rooms, 24k SF of meeting space, the lobby, and entrances with the help of a Gensler and Wilson & Associates design team.|