Billboard signs along Times Square, and now Herald Square, are growing ever bigger and brighter as LED displays become the top choice for developers of new supersigns. Projects such as the upcoming Mariott Edition, Vornado‘s Marriott Marquis renovation, and the revamping of the Herald Center all include LED displays that will be among the largest in the world.
Though more expensive to install than the standard illuminated billboard, the light-emitting diode canvasses have the primary advantage of being eco-friendly by using less electricity and lasting 25 times longer than their incandescent alternatives. Their cost depends on size, complexity, and resolution; and may run upward of $1000 a square foot. But new technology in the past decade has cut the average price in half allowing for a brighter and more prolific future in the city.
In the street sign epicenter of the world, a.k.a. Times Square, Vornado Realty Trust is constructing a monstrous six-story-tall sign that is said to stretch the length of a football field. The display is part of its $140 million retail redevelopmentof the Marriott Marquis Times Square Hotel.
Across Broadway, a Marriott Edition Hotel set to open in Times Square in 2017 will feature the largest LED Screen in the United States. The 18,000 square-foot LED sign will wrap around the corner of 47th Street and Seventh Avenue and stand 100 feet tall. The full $800 million project, developed by a consortium led by the Witkoff Group, will rise 36-stories, have 452 guest rooms, 100,000 square feet of retail, dining, entertainment and event space.
Marriott Edition Hotel (20 Times Square)
Recently rezoned to allow illuminated spectaculars, Herald Square and the 34th street retail corridor has seen a handful of eye-popping billboards erected over the past few years. Vornado and Macy’s have led the way with large displays on 34th St. and Seventh Ave., one of the city’s busiest intersections.
One avenue west, the hulking Herald Center at the very visible corner of 34th Street and Sixth Avenue, across from Macy’s, is undergoing a $50 million dollar upgrade that includes installing one of the largest LED displays in Manhattan. JEMB Realty, the building’s owner, plans to convert the building’s black-tinted windows on its upper floors with LED panels. Moed de Armas & Shannon are the architects in charge of the facelift.
The site enjoys Manhattan’s possibly best subway and bus connections on a corner where 100 million pedestrians pass each year. Swedish clothing retailer H&M will reportedly open a flagship superstore spanning 63,000 square feet over four floors. Coincidentally H&M recently opened a Times Square store at 4 Times Square where the top four faces of the building are emblazoned with illuminated H&M logos.