Image courtesy of Akueous Design
Here’s our first look at what commercial heavyweights SL Green have in mind for a small Times Square corner at 719 Seventh Avenue and West 48th Street. Building permits filed earlier this month call for a four-story, 9,000 square-foot retail building designed by TPG Architecture. Demolition permits were filed back in December and the doomed three-story structure is already shrouded in construction netting and scaffolding. The site also shares its Seventh Avenue block-front with Witkoff’s upcoming 40-story Marriott Edition Hotel that will flash one of the largest LED displays in the city.
According to a recent Real Deal article, SL Green Realty paid a staggering $1,462 per buildable square foot for the lot. The $41.1 million cost for the relatively small build-out is said to be justified because the signage SLG plans to erect can fetch upwards of $1000 a square foot.
Since before World War I, the confluence of streets has been home to an innovative array of oversized electric billboards when companies discovered that the square’s angled frontage could serve as a gallery for large, electric advertisements for national brands. Often called “spectaculars,” the signs of neon tubes, arrays of incandescent lightbulbs, and more recently light-emitting diodes have emblazoned the “crossroads of the world.”
Images courtesy of SL Greene
Building permits however, do not reflect the larger site assemblage first mentioned by the New York Post last summer calling for 25,000 square feet of space. Images shown on 719 Seventh’s website show a downsized plan featuring only 25-feet of frontage on the avenue, 8,000 square feet of leasable retail, and 5,500 square feet of high-resolution digital LED signage. There has been no indication SLG has acquired the adjacent properties which could increase the project’s presence on the avenue to 100 feet. Nevertheless, the deal marks TPG’s second collaboration with the REIT after successfully opening a three-story, 17,000 square-foot American Eagle Outfitters store at 1551 Broadway in 2009. Similar to their new proposal, the retail base is super-sized by a dramatic 250-foot, three-tier LED spectacular angled toward the heart of the square. In stark contrast to this project, SL Green is beginning work on the tallest commercial building in Midtown at One Vanderbilt.
Reporting contributed by Heather Cooper Vivares
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