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SL Green closes theater deal.

In a real estate transaction that brings Times Square its largest live concert venue, SL Green Realty Corp. has announced that AEG LIVE, the live entertainment division of Los Angeles-based entertainment and sports presenters AEG, has signed a 15-year lease to take over Loews Astor Plaza Theatre at 1515 Broadway.

The Loews Theatre, which opened in 1974, will officially close on August 5th. SL Green, which owns the 54-story, 1.8 million square foot office tower, negotiated an agreement with Loews to gain possession 17 months prior to lease expiration.

"We're delighted not only to add one of America's top entertainment companies to our tenant roster but to also have created such an exciting, adaptive reuse for this below-grade level space, stated Gerry Nocera, Chief Operating Officer of SL Green.

"We're committed to our continuing role in the ongoing renaissance of Times Square, which has historically been a magnet for the entertainment industry.

"We expect this concert venue to become one of Times Square's major attractions, bringing top-tier musical acts to the world famous business and entertainment district."

"Forget Nashville, forget L.A., New York is still the number one music venue anywhere, anyplace. Without the concentrated efforts of SL Green, Newmark and AEG LIVE, this deal never would have been completed," said James Kuhn, President of Newmark, who represented AEG in the transaction along with Brian Waterman and Lance Korman.

According to Nocera, the 43,000 square foot, single-screen cinema will be redesigned by the Rockwell Group, the prestigious New York architecture and design firm, into a high-end, state-of-the-art live entertainment venue with seating capacity for 2,100 people.

The concert venue at 1515 Broadway represents AEG LIVE's first development of a concert venue in the New York City marketplace. Specific plans for the development of the theatre will be announced by AEG at a later date.

AEG LIVE is the nation's second largest concert promotion and touring company. It's Tours and Special Events division is currently producing "Celine Dion: A New Day," which is appearing at Caesar's Palate in Las Vegas.

The company has also recently promoted national concert tours for Prince, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, Dixie Chicks, American Idol and Rod Stewart, among others.

SL Green's Senior Vice President and Director of Leasing, Steven Durels, who structured the transaction on behalf of the firm, said that the lease with AEG underscores 1515 Broadway's position as a true media and entertainment center, while bringing the building's occupancy level to 99%.

The building is the headquarters for Viacom, Inc., one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies, whose holdings include franchise brands CBS, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Show-time Networks and Infinity Broadcasting.

It is also home to the MTV Studios as well as the Minksoff Theatre, which opened in 1973 and has featured some of Broadway's great performances, including Fiddler on the Roof, Sunset Boulevard and the Scarlet Pimpernel.
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Title Annotation:Loews Astor Plaza Theatre at 1515 Broadway.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 4, 2004
Previous Article:Insurer takes 110,000 s/f at former Deutsche Bank building.
Next Article:Lawyers sign lease.

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