Recognizing an emerging market in New York's Times Square area, which was showing signs of rising up from decades of neglect, Essex Capital led a group that acquired 1500 Broadway – a 500,000-square-foot commercial tower in the heart of Times Square - from its lender in 1995, at the time representing one of the biggest investments in the newly ascendant neighborhood.
1500 Broadway had a high vacancy level when Essex Capital and its partners acquired it for $55 million. A redevelopment process that restored the building to Class A status included a capital improvement program that replaced all major mechanical systems, upgraded common areas and the overall appearance of the interiors, and established a higher level of management and service. Significant revenue was created by developing new signage displays and flagship retail spaces facing Times Square, and the building was re-branded as Times Square Plaza.
Tenants at 1500 Broadway were reorganized to create larger blocks of vacant space for lease, and through its efforts, Essex Capital was able to make the property attractive to a wide variety of corporations that in the past would have had no interest in moving to Times Square, which was historically dominated by theatrical tenants. With the foresight to spot an emerging submarket, Essex Capital laid the groundwork that led 1500 Broadway to become a prime address in New York City -- one that is now home to tenants like Disney, NASDAQ, ABC’s “Good Morning America” studio and one of the highest grossing Starbucks locations in the world.
Essex Capital and its partners later sold 1500 Broadway for what was a record-setting amount at the time, and the company's role in the evolution of Times Square was acknowledged by the Times Square Business Improvement District, which appointed Essex Capital's founder and CEO, Mitchell B. Rutter, to its board.
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