Cushman & Wakefield has been retained to exclusively market 1710 Broadway, a six-floor office building on the northeast corner of 54th Street that’s in the midst of a major renovation.
The effort comes as the lease of the current major tenant, Bad Boy Entertainment, a record label founded in 1993 by entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs, winds down, sources said.
The 60,000-square-foot space is being marketed mainly to creative firms looking to establish an identity in “one of most active and desirable locations” in Midtown, with Columbus Circle to the north and Times Square to the south, and as a potential alternative to Midtown South, said Cushman & Wakefield Vice Chairman Stuart Romanoff.
“Pricing in the Midtown South market has run away,” he said, noting that a creative tenant will appreciate features that are typical of Midtown South — in a building that also allows for Times Square-facing branding opportunities.
Sections of the Chelsea and Flatiron/Madison Square Park submarkets are drawing asking rents more than $70 psf, according to a third quarter report from Colliers International; coupled with a four percent vacancy rate, Midtown South is out of reach for many firms, creative or otherwise, the report suggests.
The building at 1710 Broadway is constructed with open, 10,000 square foot floor plates, 12 to 14 foot ceilings, large windows, and it features 129 feet of frontage along Broadway; and while Romanoff declined to identify potential tenants by name, he said a range of technology and entertainment companies are in the running. The property will most likely be leased to a single tenant, he added.
The property, owned by C&K Properties, is zoned with Times Square signage rights, and the tenant could have access to the roof for private outdoor space.
C&K, which acquired the property in 2003, has plans for a capital improvement project that will include a renovated lobby, upgraded elevator mechanics, renovated cabs, new HVAC and electrical service, and an improved façade. It is scheduled to reopen with its new look and tenant sometime in 2014.
“This is a unique asset,” Romanoff said. “It’s the only 50 to 60,000-square-foot building in the area that is self-contained and offers all of these features, along with multiple signage and branding opportunities, and even a roof deck.”
Built in 1917, the property was originally built as the New York headquarters and showroom for the Ford Motors Company.
A remnant of the old Ford headquarters exists in the drive-in freight elevator that once led to the company’s automotive showroom.
“We’ve kept that in for the time being for someone who wants a very large freight for multiple creative uses,” Romanoff said.
Three new developments are under construction on the same block as 1710 Broadway – a one-million-square-foot Boston Properties office tower and new Marriott and Hilton hotels.
The property is also located directly across the street from the Ed Sullivan Theater, home of Late Night with David Letterman.
The exclusive leasing agents for the property include Romanoff, brokers Jonathan Luttwak and Ross Eisenberg, and Myles Fennon of the firm’s Strategic Agency Services group.