A series of new projects are betting big on tourism and entertainment in the neighborhood and prospects include Manhattan’s first casino, hotels with high-life amenities and major upgrades to tourist attractions.
Before the pandemic emptied Times Square’s shops, theaters and offices, the district had 66,000 workers accounting for roughly 15 percent of the city’s economy.
In recent years, tourism in the district has recovered more quickly than office work. In March, Times Square hotel occupancy hit 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels, while office keycard swipes were just 37 percent of their former level.
As New York seeks to fast-track downstate casino licenses to spur economic recovery, some of the city’s biggest developers notice and turn to the Las Vegas Strip for ideas; like SL Green Realty which wants to build a casino in Manhattan or, better, in Times Square.
Other real estate heavyweights are investing in hospitality as international tourists flock back. Extell Development’s Hard Rock branded hotel opened on Monday with a “rock star” duplex penthouse and outdoor pool. L&L Holding is building TSX Broadway, a $2.5 billion hotel and retail development with a concert stage facing out onto Times Square, with opening slated for 2023.Others are skipping development and just buying hospitality at bargain-bin prices. MCR and Andrew Farkas’ Island Capital Group scooped up a Sheraton in Times Square last week for $373 million, roughly half of what the property last sold for in 2006.
Commenting on the deal, MCR’s chief executive Tyler Morse offered up the new Times Square mantra. “People want to be with other people,” he said.
And after two years like that, how can you blame him?
Italian developer plans 180-unit apartment project in Hollywood, Florida
An Italian developer closed on the site of a planned Hollywood apartment project, adding to a growing pipeline of multifamily developments in South Florida.
Coral Gables-based Calta Group, led by founders and brothers, Ignazio and Gaetano Caltagirone, and Managing Partner Igor Blatnik, paid $9.5 million for the 1.6-acre property at 2215 Hollywood Boulevard, where Calta is planning an eight-story, 180-unit development.
The Caltagirones, who have been investing in South Florida since 2008, are part of a real estate dynasty in Italy. They have more than $150 million in planned projects in South Florida, including luxury single-family homes in Coral Gables, Pinecrest and South Miami.
The two Caltagirone brothers left the family business in Europe and began buying single-family homes in Hollywood and Hallandale Beach during the recession, and according to them, they renovated the houses and sold the portfolio in 2012 to two large funds.
The Hollywood project is their first multifamily development.