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After Getting Booted Off Broadway, Planet Hollywood Is Coming Back To Times Square

The former Times Square location of Planet Hollywood. The chain is opening a smaller eatery on 42nd Street in 2022.

Planet Hollywood is back in Times Square with a new lease after being told to exit stage left from its last Manhattan outpost over a year ago.

The chain, owned by Earl Enterprises, has agreed to occupy nearly 18K SF across four levels in a 15-year deal at 140 West 42nd St., the New York Post reports. Planet Hollywood’s parent company will reportedly pay more than $3M a year in rent for the location less than a block from Times Square, which is due to open by the end of the year.

The retail space the restaurant will occupy is at the base of a Hilton Garden Inn hotel, in a condominium owned by Australian financial firm Macquarie Asset Management. The space has been vacant for the six years since it opened, the Post reports. 

Planet Hollywood vacated its last location at 1540 Broadway after it failed to pay rent to its landlord, Vornado. In October 2020, Vornado sued the restaurant chain, claiming it owed $5.5M in back rent on the 32K SF space dating back to 2018, Crain’s New York Business reported at the time. The publicly traded office and retail owner terminated Planet Hollywood’s lease in August 2020, but it claimed the restaurant had failed to vacate. The parties eventually reached a settlement, the Post reported.

Planet Hollywood’s new location, about half the size of its space on Broadway, will have approximately 250 seats on its second and third floors. The first floor will contain a 100-seat location of Chicken Guy, a fast-casual collaboration between celebrity chef Guy Fieri and Earl Enterprises.

The location will also function as a ghost kitchen — 10 different food brands will be preparing orders, including for delivery to nearby offices and hotels, from the space, a nod to the pandemic’s effect on demand for takeout and delivery.

The location will be "a new interpretation on our restaurant,” Earl Enterprises founder Robert Earl told the Post, that will be “more complex and more appealing to New York locals as well as tourists.”

Planet Hollywood’s journey to its newest New York spot has been turbulent. The chain went public in 1996 and debuted in New York with a large outpost on 57th Street. But its fortunes changed swiftly: By 1999, Planet Hollywood had downsized its staff and delisted before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000. It later moved to Broadway, signing a 10-year lease in 2012 with Vornado.

Earl Enterprises may have been able to take advantage of the pandemic-era downturn in Times Square for the latest Planet Hollywood location. Asking rents in Times Square have rapidly declined in recent years, including a 16.6% year-over-year drop in Q4 2021 according to CBRE.

Rents in the corridor sunk below the $1,200 per SF mark for the first time since 2011 last year, according to CBRE — as recently as 2017, Times Square asking rents were roughly $2,100 per SF