The New Year’s Eve ball-drop tower, watched by thousands of wide-eyed Times Square holiday revelers, will soon be for fun for visitors inside, too.
Owner Jamestown plans a half-billion-dollar transformation of One Times Square, the long-empty building where Broadway and Seventh Avenue cross West 42nd Street. The 118-year-old tower now serves as a mast for LED advertising signs and as the site of the world-famous ball-drop.
The 26-story structure will have an all-new look by 2024, including a new facade and new windows. An indoor, 12-floor visitors center is to have a Times Square museum, interactive and virtual-reality experiences, and an outdoor viewing deck overlooking the “Crossroads of the World.”
A new public plaza on the tower’s east side will replace an unsightly construction site. A newly opened subway entrance is part of the project.
The famous, north-facing LED signs that light the entire “Bowtie” north to West 47th Street will remain in place and the ball-drop will also function during reconstruction.
“Advertisers will be able to continue to broadcast their messages to the Times Square crowds throughout the construction period,” Jamestown president Michael Phillips said.
The LED billboards bring Jamestown a reported $23 million in annual rent, or 85 percent of the tower’s total rent income. (The rest is from a ground-floor Walgreens store).
Despite its iconic status, most of One Times Square — the original home of the New York Times — has long been an eyesore due to a decayed, marble-covered facade and a scaffold around its south end.
Jamestown bought the property in 1997. Various plans to bring in offices and restaurants fell through both before and after Jamestown’s purchase.
Times Square Alliance president Tom Harris said, “We celebrate with Jamestown as they redevelop this historic building that will inspire and engage the millions who visit Times Square.”
Credit: Source link