229 West 43rd Street

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229 West 43rd Street
Old NY Times Building 01.jpg
Upper floors of building (December 2009)
Former namesNew York Times Annex
The New York Times Building
General information
TypeOffice
Architectural styleNeo-Gothic
French Renaissance (addition)
Location229 West 43rd Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°45′27″N 73°59′16″W / 40.757557°N 73.987783°W / 40.757557; -73.987783Coordinates: 40°45′27″N 73°59′16″W / 40.757557°N 73.987783°W / 40.757557; -73.987783
Construction started1912
Completed1913
Renovated1922 (addition)
1931–32 (addition)
OwnerColumbia Property Trust
ManagementColumbia Property Trust
Height
Roof267 ft (81 m)
Technical details
Floor count18
Floor area767,000 square feet (71,300 m2)[1]
Design and construction
ArchitectMortimer J. Fox (original)
Ludlow and Peabody (1922 addition)
Albert Kahn (1932 addition)
DeveloperThe New York Times Company
DesignatedApril 24, 2001
Reference no.LP-2091
References
[2]

229 West 43rd Street, formerly known as The New York Times Building,[3] is an 18-story office building, located at 229 West 43rd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenue near Times Square in Manhattan, New York City. It was the headquarters of The New York Times newspaper from 1913 through 2007.[4][5] Currently, the office portion of the building is owned by Columbia Property Trust while Kushner Companies owns the first six floors as a retail and entertainment complex.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

The building was built in three stages between 1912 and 1937. It was originally designed by Mortimer J. Fox, of the firm Buchman & Fox, and called the New York Times Annex because it was designed to supplement the One Times Square Times Tower, built in 1905 at Broadway and 42nd Street (which gives Times Square its name).[2] In 1922, the Ludlow & Peabody firm designed a 100-foot (30 m) extension on the west side as well as a five-story setback attic level in the style of the French Renaissance, including the Mansard roofs.[citation needed] From 1930 to 1932, architect Albert Kahn designed a further expansion to the west including a second lobby and roof-top studio. Further expansions included a 12-story New York Times North building adjoining it to the north on 44th Street.[2]

2000s[edit]

The New York Times Company sold the building in 2004 to Tishman Speyer for $175 million. Tishman sold it to Lev Avnerovich Leviev's Africa Israel Investments in 2007 for $525 million.[6] The company reportedly considered converting the building into luxury condominiums as well as partnering with The Walt Disney Company to open a branded Times Square hotel.[7] As of September 2008, Africa Israel was in the midst of a $175 million renovation including adding a new sign on the top and replacing a digital clock in place since 1962 with an analog version.[8] Africa Israel officially called it "The Times Square Building".[1] The company also opened the horror-themed Jekyll & Hyde Club based on the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. However, the club received extremely negative reviews and closed in 2015.[7] In 2009, the company leased the building's basement for Discovery Times Square Exposition.[9]

In 2011, The Blackstone Group purchased the building for $160 million and spent another $105 million on renovations that included leasing the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th floors to Yahoo!. The company subsequently sold the office space on floors five through 16 to Columbia Property Trust for $516 million in July 2015.[10]

In 2012, Guy Fieri's first New York City restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, opened to scathing New York Times coverage by Pete Wells that Larry Olmsted of Forbes called "the most scathing review in the history of the New York Times", and "likely the most widely read restaurant review ever." Fieri, for his part, accused Wells, the nation's highest profile reviewer, of using Fieri's fame as a platform for advancing his own prestige.[11][12]

Kushner Companies purchase[edit]

In 2015, Jared Kushner purchased the first six floors of the building for $295 million from Africa Israel Investments and Five Mile Capital.[13] All but $1 million of the purchase price was financed by loans from Brookfield Asset Management.[7] Kushner envisioned leasing out the space to multiple entertainment venues to create an amusement park-like attraction that would capture visitors from nearby Times Square.[7] In May 2016, the operators of Mini Israel in Latrun, Israel, announced plans for the 49,000 square feet (4,600 m2) Gulliver's Gate attraction. The attraction would consist of scale models of both New York and global landmarks inspired by Gulliver's Travels.[14] A month later, Kushner signed National Geographic Encounter to a 59,000 square feet (5,500 m2) deal where the company planned to operate an educational entertainment attraction about the ocean, replacing Discovery Times Square Exposition.[15][16] Finally, celebrity chef Todd English signed a lease to open a 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) food hall in the building.[17]

Following the lease-up of the building, in October 2016 Deutsche Bank lent $370 to refinance the space.[13][18] The 10-year, interest-only loan consisted of nine pari passu senior notes totaling $285 million that were sold in the commercial mortgage-backed security market as well as two mezzanine loans totaling $85 million that were sold to Paramount Group and SL Green Realty.[19] At the time, a real estate appraisal valued the property at $470 million since it was 100% occupied by a variety of tenants whose leases ran into the 2030s. In addition to the tenants Kushner signed, the space was also home to Bowlmor Lanes,[20] Guitar Center's Times Square flagship, a sushi restaurant, and a taco restaurant.[19] Kushner used the loans to pay off the Brookfield financing as well as pay a special $59 million divided to the Kushner Company.[7] These deals attracted special counsel Robert Mueller's attention as possible ties between Trump family real estate deals and Russian money interests while he is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[21]

Financial difficulties[edit]

Despite appearing on Restaurant Business's list of the top 100 independent restaurants as ranked by sales for four years in a row, Guy Fieri's restaurant announced plans to close at the end of 2017.[22] Additionally, by the beginning of 2018 Todd English's food hall remained unopened with no signs of construction despite an originally scheduled opening date of April 2017.[23] In February, the planned operator of the food hall sued the Kushner Companies, claiming that the space given to them was not the same size as the space described in the lease. Kushner countersued, alleging that the food hall operator was behind schedule and failing to pay rent. Ultimately, the companies mutually abandoned plans for the food hall.[24] In April, Kushner replaced Guy Fieri's former space with a new outpost of The Ribbon, a popular Upper West Side restaurant.[25]

By the end of 2018, both Gulliver's Gate and National Geographic, the property's two largest attractions, were suffering financial difficulties. Gulliver's Gate faced six separate lawsuits from contractors who claimed they weren't paid for their services while National Geographic was issued tax liens by both the State and City of New York for failing to pay proper taxes.[26] Gulliver's Gate also complained that their space was smaller than promised and entered negotiations with Kushner Companies which lowered their rent by 50% while National Geographic was evicted in January 2019.[27][7]

In March 2019, Kushner Companies defaulted on their $85 million of mezzanine loans after missing several payments. The missed payments came after income was lower due to vacancy and reduced rents while expenses at the property unexpectedly amounted to $9 million, more than double their expected level.[7]

Office tenants[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rubinstein, Dana (September 23, 2008). "Sign for The Times: Landlord Leviev Adding 32-Foot Sign to 229 West 43rd". New York Observer. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "New York Times Building". Emporis. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  3. ^ Lankevich, George J. (2001). Postcards from Times Square. Square One Publishers, Inc. p. 20. ISBN 9780757001000.
  4. ^ "History of Times Square". The Telegraph. July 27, 2011. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "The New York Times Company Enters The 21st Century With A New Technologically Advanced And Environmentally Sensitive Headquarter" (PDF) (Press release). The New York Times Company. November 16, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 27, 2008.
  6. ^ Koblin, John (April 30, 2007). "Times Building Sells (Again!) For $525 M.". New York Observer. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Melby, Caleb; Kocieniewski, David (June 25, 2019). "Debt, Conflict and Vacancy Imperil Kushners' Times Square Dream". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  8. ^ Dunlap, David W. (September 23, 2008). "Signs of Change, in Lights, for Times Square". City Room (blog of The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  9. ^ (registration required) Rothstein, Edward (June 25, 2009). "Relics From the Deep and the Dawn of Man". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Blackstone sells ex-NYT offices to Columbia Property Trust for $516M". The Real Deal. July 24, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  11. ^ Wells, Pete (November 14, 2012). "As Not Seen on TV Restaurant Review: Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square". Dining/reviews. New York Times. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
  12. ^ Olmstead, Larry (December 5, 2012). "Tables Turned - Top Chefs Review Pete Wells And Other Restaurant Critics". Forbes. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Protess, Ben; Silver-Greenberg, Jessica; Drucker, Jesse (July 19, 2017). "Big German Bank, Key to Trump's Finances, Faces New Scrutiny". New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  14. ^ Maurer, Mark (May 12, 2016). "E&M chiefs, partners file plans for Gulliver's Gate project". The Real Deal. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  15. ^ Dunlap, David W. (May 4, 2017). "An Ocean Beckons Where Newspapers Once Streamed". New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  16. ^ Weiss, Lois (June 29, 2016). "National Geographic is bringing sharks to Times Square". New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  17. ^ "Todd English inks lease at Kushner's Times Square retail condo". The Real Deal. August 17, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  18. ^ Kranish, Michael (June 25, 2017). "Kushner firm's $285 million Deutsche Bank loan came just before Election Day". Washington Post. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "CD 2016-CD2 Prospectus". Securities and Exchange Commission. March 20, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  20. ^ Barry, Dan (November 18, 2010). "Bowlmor Lanes in Former Newsroom of The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  21. ^ Dent, Wendy; Pilkington, Ed; Walker, Shaun (July 24, 2017). "Jared Kushner sealed real estate deal with oligarch's firm cited in money-laundering case". The Guardian. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Carman, Tim (December 29, 2017). "Guy Fieri is Pulling the Plug on Perhaps the Most Mocked Restaurant in America". Washington Post. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  23. ^ Melby, Caleb; Kocieniewski, David (January 19, 2018). "Kushner's Deutsche Bank-Backed Property Stung by Tenant Troubles". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  24. ^ Melby, Caleb; Kocieniewski, David (February 20, 2018). "Kushner Cos. Sued by Times Square Food Hall Tenant Over Lease". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  25. ^ Weiss, Lois (April 17, 2018). "Major food changes coming to Times Square". New York Post. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  26. ^ Melby, Caleb (November 15, 2018). "Kushner Cos. Is Having Trouble With Its Times Square Tenants". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  27. ^ Melby, Caleb (January 18, 2019). "Kushner Evicting Times Square Tenant, Endangering Loan Payments". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  28. ^ "Home - AlphaSights". www.alphasights.com. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  29. ^ "10gen Moves to Former New York Times Building". Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  30. ^ "229 West 43rd Street". Columbia Property Trust. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  31. ^ "Automation Solutions for Digital Advertising - PubMatic". PubMatic. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  32. ^ Hall, Miriam (December 5, 2018). "The Biggest Knotel Ever Is Opening In The Former New York Times Building". Bisnow. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  33. ^ "Complex Networks inks sublease with Yahoo at 229 West 43rd St". therealdeal.com. December 14, 2017. Retrieved February 4, 2018.