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159 West 48th Street

445-Key Hard Rock Hotel Under Development at 159 West 48th Street, Midtown

Over the weekend, it was revealed, by the New York Post, that Extell Development is partnering with Hard Rock International to build a Hard Rock Hotel at 151-159 West 48th Street, located mid-block between Sixth and Seventh avenues, near Times Square in Midtown. Now, a rendering and additional details have been released in a Curbed NY report. The hotel tower will boast 445 rooms, a lobby lounge, a restaurant and bar, a rooftop lounge, and an underground speakeasy-style establishment. The hotel will also feature iconic music memorabilia, like many Hard Rock locations do. The 13,153-square-foot site is currently occupied by a seven-story parking garage and a five-story tenement building. Permits were filed to demolish the garage in February. The assemblage can accommodate 180,336 square feet of commercial development as-of-right. Additional air rights can be acquired elsewhere on the block and from around the district, as the site sits within the special Times Square zoning district.


Gulliver's Gate

Plans for ‘Gulliver’s Gate’ Tourist Attraction Move Forward at 216 West 44th Street, Times Square

Late last year, news broke that E&M Associates and Eiran Gazit were planning to build a 49,000-square-foot Times Square tourist attraction in part of the 12-story former New York Times Building, an individual landmark at 229 West 43rd Street and 216 West 44th Street (the north building is not landmarked), in Midtown. Now, the team has filed plans with the Department of Buildings for the project, dubbed Gulliver’s Gate, The Real Deal reports. The ground floor portion will include the reception and ticketing areas, as well as a gift shop, while the second will host the main exhibit. The project is expected to begin the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) shortly. It also requites exterior alterations to the 43rd Street side, which will need to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Last November, the team signed a 15-year lease for part of the ground floor and the entire second floor of the building. Kushner Companies acquired the retail portion of the property, which also contains office space, in early 2015 for $296 million. If all goes as planned, completion can be expected in 2017. Stanley Wong’s SP WONG Architect is the architect of record.



Times Square Theater, 2014. Via Google Maps.

Event Planner Leases Long-Vacant Times Square Theater At 217 West 42nd Street, Midtown

The long-vacant Times Square Theater, located at 217 West 42nd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues in Midtown, may have another chance to be used, according to the New York Post. Singapore-based Oracle Projects International, which produces and designs events, has reportedly leased the property. The former theater is overseen by the state’s Historic Preservation Committee as well as New 42nd St, a nonprofit that leases the theater (and five others) in a 99-year lease. In recent years, the building was leased twice with different reuse projects in mind, but both failed to come to fruition. The latest plan would likely include, at the very least, minor alterations to, or a restoration of, the existing building. The building’s interior and exterior were on the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s backlog, but were removed from the calendar without prejudice last month.


From left to right: 701 7th Avenue in 1909, 1920’s, 1951, 2006, 2015, and as proposed for 2017. Image sources indicated throughout the article

The Phantom Of Times Square: A Century Of Radical Change At 701 Seventh Avenue

The year 2015 marked the near-complete demolition of Times Square’s second oldest structure. The Columbia Amusement Co. Building, which opened at Times Square’s northeast corner on West 47th Street in January 1910. 701 7th Avenue was known by a variety of names during its century-long life span. Like the slightly older yet much more famous One Times Square at the opposite end of the square, the building engaged in the neighborhood’s classic disappearing act, where giant billboards seen by millions made their renovation-scarred hosts all but invisible. But behind the ads, standing on a 16,000-square-foot lot, was a building with a history as dramatic and diverse as that of the famous square on which it stood.

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