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Times Square welcomes expansive billion-dollar development

L&L Holding Company, Maefield Development Corp. and Fortress Investment Group have revealed plans for a $2.5 billion redevelopment of 1568 Broadway in Times Square.

The project is suspected to have a major effect on the area, which already has some of the highest foot-traffic in the planet, bringing numerous industry giants from the digital economy to the area.

The plan will be to rejuvenate 1568 Broadway — which is currently a DoubleTree Hotel — and where the well-known Palace Theatre by Hilton resides.

The space is being used to create a new “experiential retail” location, with the Palace Theatre to be kept as part of the complex, though renovated. Experiential retail refers to purchasing an experience, such as air travel, rather than a good or service.

The redevelopment project, which has been named TSX Broadway because of the building’s location at the intersection of Times Square, is intended to bring the big players of the digital economy to New York in one of its most trafficked areas.

According to Crain’s New York Business, many industry giants have voiced interest in the project, including Amazon Inc., Facebook, YouTube, Samsung, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., The Walt Disney Company and Walmart.

Though Times Square has always been a thriving area, critics believe that it is currently not equipped to host global brands, which the introduction of this new complex will help change.

Almost 600 feet tall, the structure L&L plans to build will include a 10-floor, 75,000-square-foot retail space at the base and 15,000 square feet on the ground floor, with an 18,000-square-foot wraparound sign.

There will be a 10,000-square-foot terrace outside the complex, which is part of the planned total 30,000-square-foot dining space for the project. An LED system will play across the 46-story front of the building. A 669-room hotel will be on top of the retail floors.

The building will have a permanent outdoor stage, which no other building in Times Square has. The stage will be suspended 30 feet in the air and will overlook Times Square’s iconic TKTS Red Steps.

The developers of the site see the new structure as a way of combining the retail experience of Times Square with live performances. Around the building’s permanent stage, there will be massive billboards, on which advertisements will be presented to viewers and to passersby.

Advertisement slots for these billboards will be both highly desired and expensive. The building will have dedicated retail, food and beverage and hospitality spaces as well.

The Palace Theatre will be lifted up 30 feet and completely renovated, and the hotel will be built around it. Because the Palace Theatre is landmarked, these plans were evaluated and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2015.

The plans include a new exterior entrance to the theater and a marquee on 47th Street. The structural team that moved the Empire Theatre on 42nd Street in 1998 will oversee the move of this theater as well. The Palace Theatre project will be designed by Platt Byard Dovell White Architects and Mancini Duffy.

The hotel will have a direct view of Times Square and will feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Thirty “ball drop suites” will be created to give guests a clear view of the festivities that take place annually on New Year’s Eve, most significantly of the ball that famously drops in Times Square.

The demolition of 1568 Broadway will begin during this winter, and construction of the new complex is expected to be completed by 2021.

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