Shubert Organization's New Broadway Theatre Unlikely? Luxury Apartment Building in the Works
Currently, the Shubert Organization owns seventeen Broadway theatres in New York City, but as BroadwayWorld previously reported, that number could soon become EIGHTEEN. Last week Michael Riedel reported that the "Shuberts plan to build a state-of-the-art, 1,500-seat Broadway theater between West 45th and 46th streets - sandwiched between Frankie & Johnnie's steakhouse and the Shuberts' Imperial Theatre."
Currently housing a parking lot, filled with small items on sale, Riedel pegs the cost at $150 million, and the organization has not yet confirmed the plans, just noting that it's "in negotiations".
Today however, Deadline's Jeremy Gerard writes that he believes the possibility of the new Shubert Theatre unlikely. He reports: "Shubert, as we know, owns valuable land and even more valuable air rights in the Theater District, and Broadway's biggest landlord has been doing some heavy horse trading recently, exchanging oxygen for dollars and planning a takeover of a five-theater off-Broadway complex on 50th Street west of Eighth Avenue. But a new Broadway theater, at a cost of $150 million? Ehhhh, I don't think so. Neither does the powerful Community Board 5, which controls building plans in the area and has received no paperwork for any such project at 740 Eighth Ave."
Gary Barnett's Extell Corp holds rights to the space in question, and is reportedly planning to build a skyscraper of luxury apartments there. Gerard continues: "I can pretty much guarantee there will be no free-standing new theater on that site. So, will Barnett's 740 Eighth Avenue project include a Broadway theater? He didn't respond to several requests for confirmation."
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Current New York City theatres owned by the organization include the Ambassador, Bernard B. Jacobs, Barrymore, Little Shubert, Belasco, Booth, Lyceum, Broadhurst, Majestic, Broadway, Music Box, Cort, Gerald Schoenfeld, Shubert, Golden, Winter Garden and the Imperial.
The Shubert Organization is America's oldest professional theatre company. Over the last century, the company has owned hundreds of theatres and produced over five hundred plays and musicals. At the end of the 19th century, three brothers, Sam, Lee and Jacob J. Shubert, from Syracuse, New York, founded the business.