SL Green has started a $160 million capital improvement program at 1515 Broadway- home to MTV’s Times Square studios- which will upgrade the tower’s HVAC, lighting, and other building systems in pursuit a LEED-EB Silver rating from USGBC. Designed by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox, the renovation will also include the installation of a 42-foot high extension to the 54-story building’s street-level curtain wall, where pedestrians can peer into the MTV space and access the lobby of the Minskoff Theater. Steve Cuozzo quotes SL Green leasing chief Steve Durels as stating that the firm’s “goal is to give [the building] more street presence and more drama, especially as you look at its lower part.”
SL Green purchased the 2 million-square foot tower back in 2002 for $480 million, and its green upgrades come in advance of the pending expiration of nearly 1 million square feet of the total 1.5 million in the building currently leased by Viacom. Cuozzo notes that Viacom has been rumored to be looking at moving downtown, where last year it moved Comedy Central operations to 345 Hudson Street at an asking rent in the $50s; the average at 1515 Broadway is around $90. 1515 Broadway also houses the Nokia Theater, and Cuozzo observes that KPF’s curtain wall expansion will also serve to distinguish the tower from the Marriot Marquis on the opposite side of West 45th Street. We’ll see whether the draw of cheaper rent in a much different submarket outweighs the potential advantages of a LEED-EB-certified space for Viacom in advance of its lease expiration in 2010.
SL Green is currently completing a similar $72 million, 18-month capital improvement program at 100 Park Avenue, where it recently secured a lease with anchor tenant BDO Seidman and is also seeking LEED-EB Silver.