Construction start set for $2.5B Times Square development
- The developers of the $2.5 billion TSX Broadway project in New York City's Times Square will be ready to start construction, according to GlobeSt.com, late in the winter of 2019.
- The development, spearheaded by L&L Holding Co., Fortress Investment Group and Maefield Development, will include the demolition of an existing hotel and construction of a 46-story, 550,000-square-foot building around the 105-year-old Palace Theater. The project will include a new 669-key luxury hotel; 75,000 square feet of retail, which will occupy 10 floors and include 15,000 square feet of ground-floor space and 100 feet of storefront facing Times Square; and $50 million to raise the Palace Theater, renovate it and incorporate it into the new building's third floor. The new structure will also feature a stage extending over Times Square, a food and beverage terrace and an 18,000-square foot LED screen.
- Developers expect the retail portion of TSX Broadway, described as "experiential," to draw 15 million people each year with "innovation, creativity, engagement and entertainment." The development team said they have planned construction, which is expected to wrap up in 2021, so that it will not interfere with the area's high pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
According to a report from Total Retail earlier this year, experiential retail is a major trend in the industry in response to the ever-increasing use of mobile devices, a shift to e-commerce, and reduced traffic through malls and other traditional retail outlets. Experiential retail encompasses a wide variety of strategies, including the use of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality to attract and engage shoppers, and incorporating elements like spas, dining, theaters, cultural events, 3D experiences and pop-up shops.
If experience-based retail results in more brick-and-mortar construction, then that's good news for contractors focused on this industry niche, even though, according to Forbes, in-store shopping numbers haven't declined all that much since online shopping has become so popular.
What this trend could mean for the industry is more expansions and renovations than ground-up construction, however, if retailers decide to offer a new shopping experiences for customers. For example, Levi's upgraded its flagship store in New York City to include space for a tailor shop, where shoppers can personalize items prior to purchase, as well as create custom shirts. The store's renovation also included more open floor space and fewer checkout lines in favor of sales kiosks throughout the store.
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