Sovereign Debt and Job Crisis Grows, but NY Times Square Real Estate Maintains - Stage for

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Dichotomy is definitely featuring the "new normal" in New York's Times Square, arguably the globe's stage, still media nerve center and economic heart beat. From corporations and professional service firms to trendy restaurants/cafes and well to do tourists, Times Square is a unique brew projecting the wealth that is still being generated by the global economy, for and beyond New York. The large news boards dotting this canyon of business towers and hotels still pronounce by the moment the crisis that grips sovereign debt and millions of unemployed. If you are too busy sampling the latest wares or just people watching then all you have to do is search out the many faces to notice in the crowd also the inordinate number of street vendors and pan handlers to get a glimpse that not all is well. Part of that is just the ebb and flow of capitalism, and the constant reshuffling of the haves and have nots. However, increasingly we need to be alert for the chronic or institutional entrenchment of economic and social inequities. The rising tide of joblessness or cuts in social/economic enhancement programs could be a vicious cycle still accelerating rather than what is seen through the eyes of much of Wall Street, a recovering global economy.

Anyway, New York's Times Square projects a positive picture of the economic future. Even its transformation from seedy to trendy over the last two decades bodes well for what we can do as society once we find sufficient mutual benefit. (Hopefully similar formula will be recognized in bringing the have nots into the circle of prosperity - that may be the ultimate test as to whether today's species of capitalism is primarily predatory or symbiotic). Meantime, below is more thorough analysis from old friend and one time business partner at "Michael Stoler Report", ( ). You can also access our latest video reports from "International Financial Crisis TV" at and direct link to:
"World Economic Outlook/IMF" -
"Currency Wars/World Bank" -
"Jobs Lost: Globally 30 Million" -
"Austerity Measures & Growth" -
"Middle East & North Africa Recovery" -
"Wall Street Wars & Global Unemployment" -
"Easy Money/ Another Global Bubble Forming?" -
"UN MDG Report (Millennium Development Goals/Professor Jeffrey Sachs)" -

by Ambassador Muhamed "mo" Sacirbey

From Michael Stoler Report:
"Times Square office market: Back to the future"

11 Times Square is the current starring tower, but questions about the next act

It's the home of major media companies such as Viacom, the New York Times, Condé Nast, Reuters, Bertelsmann and Universal Music Group; broadcast studios for ABC, MTV, NASDAQ and others; headquarters of Morgan Stanley and law firms such as Proskauer Rose, Skadden Arps and Cravath Swaine & Moore. One-quarter of all hotels in Manhattan are there, along with Broadway theaters and some of the best retail in the world. And, oh, tens of millions of visitors annually come by.

So before the world's eyes turn to Times Square for New Year's Eve, it seemed like a good time to consider the state of the office market in the city's most famous district. After all, some 200,000 people work in Times Square, 70 percent of them in finance and creative fields.

Let's use the Times Square Alliance's borders for the district: 40th Street to 53rd Street between Sixth and Eighth avenues, as well as Restaurant Row (46th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues).

In some ways, among the most significant office moves for Times Square came in 1990, when Proskauer Rose left its Park Avenue headquarters for a then-new 43-story office building at 1585 Broadway, between West 47th and West 48th streets. This was pioneering: a prominent law firm setting up in the still-seedy Times Square. The firm signed a 20-year lease, occupied 11 stories and 365,000 square feet of the building, and was the first tenant in the tower.

Fast forward to Jan. 15, 2011, when the firm will relocate to a new building at 11 Times Square.

Proskauer will take 400,000 square feet in the LEED-certified building developed by SJP Properties. Ronald Sernau, co-chairman of the real estate department at Proskauer, appearing on my television show, said: "Our partners and employees are looking forward to moving into 11 Times Square. ... Relocating to 11 Times Square provided our firm with the golden opportunity to design our space more efficiently."

Proskauer Rose is not the only firm looking for space in Times Square. Michael Geoghegan, vice chairman at CB Richard Ellis who represented Proskauer at 11 Times Square, said: "Many of these [new] buildings have large floor plates, office efficiency, and green LEED certification that companies are seeking for their employees."

He added, "every financial service and professional firm is in the processing of searching for space in Times Square and especially at 11 Times Square. Hedge funds are joining the ranks in seeking quality space with great views and amenities. These firms have a tendency to spend many hours in their office and want to experience an excellent work environment. This building offers a unique environment and there is nothing like being a newly built tower."

Now the big question is: When will construction begin on the next new Times Square office tower?

In January 2009, Crain's reported that Boston Properties and the Related Companies had suspended work on a planned office building at Eighth Avenue and 46th Street. But industry leaders believe that Boston Properties may restart the development on West 55th Street and Eighth Avenue, which was suspended in February of last year.

Another potential location for a new office building is directly across the street from 11 Times Square, over the north wing of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The proposed 1.3 million-square-foot office tower was planned by a joint venture of Vornado Realty Trust and affiliates of the Ruben Companies. This project was put on hold in 2008, and most industry leaders do not believe that plans will be revised for the development in the near future.

New or expected blocks of available space at existing buildings could also make it harder for projects to start.

The Durst Organization's 4 Times Square marked another major turning point for Times Square when it landed Condé Nast as a tenant in the 1990s. Over the summer, Condé Nast said that it plans to move to 1 World Trade Center, once again boosting a neighborhood on the rebound. Given the shortage of available high-quality office space in Midtown Manhattan, it's unlikely that the Durst Organization will have any trouble leasing the Condé Nast space.

While many wait for the next office building, hotel development is active in Times Square. In July, for example, the 607-room InterContinental New York Times Square welcomed guests at Eighth Avenue and 44th Street. Also, construction is scheduled to begin early next year on Extell Development's 54-story, 487-room hotel on West 45th Street, near Sixth Avenue.

Retail is doing great in Times Square with every major retailer seeking to have presence in this marketplace. On November 9th, The Walt Disney Co. officially opened its largest store in North America at the retail component of 1540 Broadway owned by Vornado Realty Trust. The 20,000 square foot Times Square emporium is about five times bigger than most Disney stores. Disney joins with the flagship store of Forever 21 in the space which previously served as the home of Virgin Music.

With more than 40,000 square feet of brand new retail available at SJP's 11 Times Square, coupled with its excellent location retailers seem very attentive to the site. Steven J. Pozycki, said, "every type of retail tenant including apparel, ig box and theme restaurants have expressed interest in the retail space in the Tower."

In the Port Authority Bus Terminal is home of Frames NYC (formerly Leisure Time Bowl). The facility has been recently renovated featuring 28 state of the art lanes. This location has a new competitor with the opening last month of Bowlmar Times Square in the former New York Times Buidling at 222 West 44th Street. The facility has a total of 50 brand new bowling lanes as well as food from celebrity chef David Burke. The 90,000 square feet facility, spread over two floor offers bowling divided into seven bowling lounges.

Times Square even offers visitors and residents, two retail medical clinics. The Dr. Walk-in Medical Care centers are located at 661 8th Avenue at 42nd Street and 1672 Broadway at 50th street located in the Duane Reade stores.

Twenty years ago, Times Square began to reinvent itself. That process, on the office and hotel front, continues to this day.


About the author


"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect ( provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

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