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New Shubert theatre might not be happening...

Deena Jones
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/03

Looks like this might not be happening.... http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Shubert-Organizations-New-Broadway-Theatre-Unlikely-Luxury-Apartment-Building-in-the-Works-20140827#.U_4H_tJdWHU

What happened to zoning in times Square adjacent to theatres needed to be used for theatres to secure air right usage?!
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RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Stupid. They'd be stupid not to build more theaters. if they were smart they'd throw in one more chair to the Little Shuebert and make it a Broadway house.
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CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
I think they are smart. Houses like Little Shubert, New World Stages - Stage 1, etc. are kept at 499 intentionally. They've done the math and research and if it was economically feasible to add a seat and apply to join the Broadway League, it would have happened years ago.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
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TheaterBoy7777
Broadway Star
joined:1/28/06
Fingers crossed it will at least have a Broadway Theatre on the first few floors ala The Little Shubert and the Sondheim
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MarkBearSF
Understudy
joined:1/25/11
Well, the less said about the mistake called the Little Shubert, the better (intentionally built as OB, but too expensive to operate as one). I'm sure the only way a new theater can work economically is to be a subterranean component of a larger tower.

Considering the wait for theaters and the specifics of the Shubert portfolio, I suspect it would only make sense with a big house in the Broadway/Gershwin/Lyric/Palace/St James size. (Of those, they only own the first ...but are the tops in premium small. medium and medium-large [Imperial/Winter Garden] capacity houses)








Updated On: 8/28/14 at 03:55 AM
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qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
What are the specific issues with the Little Shubert theatre? (In general, not necessarily related to turning it into a broadway theatre. But that's also a discussion I'd find interesting).
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everythingtaboo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/5/04
I've never not thought that the new theatre would be under an apartment or mixed use building. So I still don't feel it's out of the realm of possibility.

I'm curious too about the Little Shubert. It's a gorgeous theatre, can't they squeeze in a couple of more seats or bring down the rent or make it feasible to run? Anything would be better than staying dark.


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Deena Jones
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/03
Again with zoning, I seem to recall any tall building being built in the theatre district had to allow a certain amount of space for arts/theatrical use. This being because of the air rights usage "over" the existing theatres. The only theatres I know that were successfully built over are the Broadway, Sondheim and Palace. Maybe this can happen over the potential new Shubert?
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CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
The Little Shubert requires that it's tenant uses UNION stagehands, I believe. I also believe it has a minimum of 3 union crew? Someone else here I'm sure has specifics.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Yes, the Shuberts agreed to union contracts for union stage hands that make it near impossible for shows to meet their weekly running costs.
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
The Sondheim was completely demolished apart from the frontage which was landmarked so the new theatre had to be built underground. The Minskoff is part of a mixed use building as is the Marquis so having a theatre below luxury apartments certainly is possible but given the space was a car park and not a theatre, do the Shuberts or the developers have any obligations to build a new theatre.
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04


Jeremy Gerard says "I can pretty much guarantee there will be no free-standing new theater on that site."

I think the best we can hope for is a 1,500-seat theater underneath a disgusting tower of luxury apartments.


yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
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AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
"The Little Shubert requires that it's tenant uses UNION stagehands, I believe. I also believe it has a minimum of 3 union crew? Someone else here I'm sure has specifics."

If I remember correctly it's not just union stage hands, but union front of house staff and AFM musicians as well. The rent is also higher compared to some of the other large Off-Broadway houses. I'm curious if tenants at New World Stages will see increases in their rent once the Shuberts take full control of the space.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
You are correct. The Little Shubert requires a fully unionized staff per their agreement and it is a beautifully appointed theatre from a technical stand-point, moreso than some Broadway houses, and the Shubert therefore feel justified in charging a high premium. Unfortunately, because they are technically a non-profit, they have no drive to lower it to fill the theatre because they do not have to pay a dime on it when it sits there empty, other than for general upkeep... It also has found purpose as a rehearsal studio for some productions.

Look, I understand that midtown is the realm of skyscrapers, but the obsession with luxury rental units became disgusting LONG ago and only gets worse... And that particular intersection is painful as the quaint Restaurant Row, a reasonably lovely little haven, is now violated by the construction of a hotel tower on the block...
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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
There's nothing wrong with luxury rentals, more and more people want them so the demand is constantly there. But, I don't think they belong in that particular spot. The original article has a lot more information.
Dilettante
Deena Jones
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/03
Again, theatre air rights come into play for this area- any building built in this "zone" are required to purchase air rights from various local businesses that are not taller than a theatre's roof. It will be interesting to to see how tall this building can go, if a theatre will be built and whose air rights they secure. I guess we have to stay tuned....
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qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
Thanks for the info about the Little Shubert. Then, discussing the other idea - why do you think they haven't made it a Broadway house if it is clearly not working off-Broadway?

Also, RE: Luxury apartments. I realise it sounds/is a bit 'tacky' to throw in a theatre under a block of apartments. But, given NYC is an enormously populous city it seems like a waste of space/unsustainable not to build upwards.
Deena Jones
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/03
Again, it boils down to air rights and zoning. Perhaps someone in city real estate can elaborate?
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
The Shuberts own the air rights to their existing theaters, and they've been selling them for big money, much more than anyone in NY commercial real estate ever imagined those air rights would go for.

So far, they've made about $50 million from the sale of air rights to the developers of big ugly tower complexes.
CAPITAL NEW YORK: Record air-rights sale in theater district just the beginning
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Deena Jones
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/03
VERY interesting! Thanks for sharing Pal
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Re: Not turning the Little Shubert into a Broadway house.
For one, it is outside the "traditional" geographic boundary, so the Broadway League would have a greater say in the designation. It isn't juat number of seats, it has to meet criteria that include seating capacity and be certified as a Broadway house by the League.
The economics of a Broaday house can also prove tricky for a 500 seat venue.. Several unions may raise alarms because it would void their existing agreements with the venue.. It also does serve a purpose, as I said before, for the organization as is..

Re: luxury rentals.
Rentals, fine, why must wverything by over priced luxury? They are not as in demand as you think. Because of tax credita, many luxury landlords let apartments sit vcant s a write off rather than lower rents to a reasonable levwl.
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AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
In an ideal world it would be a theatre with affordable apartments with a preference for members of the performing arts above it, modeled after Manhattan Plaza. I realize this is a pipe dream, as Related is having enough troubles getting their newest affordable building open down on 29th Street (which I know because I've been in the application/interview phase for it since the beginning of the year, with the building opening now delayed several times).
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?