Dana Rubinstein Dec. 14, 2009, 9:20 p.m.
The sorry state of affairs in which a “Disneyfied” Times Square lacks an actual Disney Store will soon be remedied.
Disney has a lease out for the retail space at 1540 Broadway, according to sources familiar with the transaction.
(Translation into non–real-estatese: Disney is this close to signing a lease on Broadway, between 45th and 46th streets.) Presumably, Disney plans to fill the 25,000 square feet on the first, second and third floors with one of those newfangled concept stores that The New York Times wrote so extensively about in October. The idea—influenced by Disney board member Steve Jobs—is to transform Disney stores into multimedia recreational centers that also, of course, sell merchandise.
This will be the Second Coming of Disney to Times Square.
The first, announced in 1994, launched the so-called Disneyfication of an area once better known for its neon-colored smut shops than its candy-colored street furniture within Euro-friendly pedestrian malls.
As The Times put it at the time, the “giant of family entertainment” would “introduce Mickey, Goofy and lots of surprises to a street with a reputation as perhaps the nation’s sleaziest.”
Governor Cuomo said, rather more succinctly, that Disney would help “get rid of the filth.”
Just six years later, Disney closed its store to allow for the erection of the Ernst & Young Building at 5 Times Square.
And now, it’s back. And better than ever. We suppose.
According to a map on the Disney Store’s Web site, the metropolitan region has four Disney Stores already (they are marked with red Mickey Mouse heads): one in Jersey City; another in Elmhurst, Queens; a third in Paramus, N.J.; and a fourth on Staten Island.
Neither Sherri White of Vornado Realty Trust, which owns the tower’s retail condominium, nor SRS Real Estate Partners’ Patrick Smith, who represents Disney, would comment for this story.