While the flashing marquee lights and LED billboards of 1568 Broadway continue to brighten the crossroads of the world, the light bulbs and digital screens will one day turn off as the building prepares for demolition. Plans for the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton call for an entirely new 46-story, 550,000 square foot building dubbed TSX Broadway. The 106-year old Palace Theatre will be the only part of the original site to be preserved, structurally elevated, and integrated into the $2.5 billion dollar redevelopment. L&L Holding Company, Maefield Development, and Fortress Investment Group are the developers who purchased the site for $450 million dollars.
As of now, the extant hotel is operational while the billboards and LED screens are still pulsating with energy. One notable aspect about the site is the number of closed doors and windows along 7th Avenue. They once held a number of small independent businesses as well as a gentlemen’s club. Sidewalk sheds have now been installed along Broadway and West 47th Street, indicating work on the building should start very soon.
The new retail podium will have one large screen with a permanent outdoor platform that cantilevers over the sidewalk. Views up and down Times Square will be plentiful when standing 30 feet above the street, higher than the top of the TKTS red staircase across the street. The new stage can also serve as a platform for live performances, outdoor venues, or become part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. In the end, this adds a unique character to the changing face of Times Square, and the number of ways companies try to get the attention of onlookers and tourists from around the world to shop, eat and interact with the neighborhood’s buildings.
The only large remaining occupant along Broadway is McDonald’s which has been at their iconic Times Square location for a number of decades. Soon, they will relocate to a nearly 7,000 square foot, two-story location across from Sunglass Hut on the northern corner of the Bow Tie Building, at 1530 Broadway.
When complete, the building’s podium will be entirely surrounded by a wrap-around, curved LED screen. The level of luminosity and conspicuity will rival the upcoming Edition hotel at 701 7th Avenue. Both sites encompass a similar building mass and hierarchy of retail, commercial and hotel space. They maximize the amount of retail signage covering each of their podium floors before yielding to hotel floors above.
Looking from the red stairs, this section of Times Square will see one of the most significant transformations since the early 2000’s. That was when a majority of new office and commercial buildings began to sprout on the southern tip of the bow tie, between West 42nd Street and West 43rd Street. These towers included the former headquarters of Conde Nast at 4 Times Square, the Thomson Reuters Building at 3 Times Square, and the Times Square Tower, situated directly behind the 115-year old 1 Times Square
A completion date for TSX Broadway has not been announced yet, but work is reportedly to begin in January.