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Design of the times.

Nearly 1,000 people have voted in the Design Times Square contest that the Times Square Alliance hopes will stir property owners into thinking about interiors, as well as the exteriors that made the "Crossroads of the World" famous.

Thirty-nine properties were selected from 150 sites in the area by a seven-panel jury of professionals. The three sites voted public favorites will be announced in December of this year. Voting ends tomorrow. To vote online go to

"We hope to inspire and challenge retailers and property owners to carefully consider the street level experience in the neighborhood," said Eddie Helms, with the Times Square Alliance. "For the pedestrian, the visitor, the local worker, there is a lot of visual distraction when they walk through Times Square. While there are some spectacular retail spaces in Times Square, more than a few are not particularly distinctive We hope Design Times Square encourages business owners to make positive changes, and we hope that they will be rewarded for it by an increase in foot traffic revenue and an improved public profile."

The contest is based on the annual Commerce Design Montreal that began in 1995 that encouraged businesses to use the services of design professionals.

"Primarily, the Alliance has learned that good design is good for business, and that programs that highlight excellence in design attract a lot of attention," said Helms.

"We saw the city-wide success of the Design Commerce Montreal project, and knew that we wanted to replicate here in Times Square."

The holidays will be especially festive in Times Square this year.

"The last two months of the year are the finale of our celebration of the Times Square Centennial with a Gala at the beginning of November, an historical exhibit at the AXA Gallery, and the 100th Anniversary New Year's Eve celebration," Helms said. "Because this year's Design Times Square recognizes icons of the past in addition to new design, we felt it was significant to announce the winners as part of the year-end festivities."

And years to come "Our goal is for the neighborhood to continue to evolve in an effort to serve these diverse constituents.

"In addition to all of the valuable amenities for tourists, we'd like to see venues that exemplify the creativity and edge of New York City. Further, we'd like to see more appropriate retail for the office workers and new residents, and we think that Eighth Avenue between 40th and 50th streets is poised to fill that need."

"Eighth Avenue can really serve as a bridge between the diversity and excitement of Times Square and the growing residential neighborhoods to the west."

In following years, the contest will focus on new construction.
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Title Annotation:Construction & Design
Author:Nelson, Barbara
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 29, 2004
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