By and  on December 16, 2004

NEW YORK — Billabong USA, a manufacturer of surf and snow apparel, accessories and streetwear, plans to open its first New York store this spring in Times Square — directly beneath the MTV studios.

The store at 1515 Broadway, between 44th and 45th Streets, will have 4,000 square feet in which to sell its Billabong line of wetsuits, board shorts, T-shirts, swimwear, fleece tops, jumpers, walk shorts, pants, jeans, bags and accessories. The first shop for Element, Billabong’s skateboard and streetwear division, will adjoin the store and have 1,800 square feet.

“This gives us an opportunity to showcase both Billabong and Element branded products in one of the world’s most prominent retail areas,” Billabong USA president Paul Naude said in a statement.

“The dynamics in the Times Square area have changed a lot,” said Jeffrey Roseman, executive vice president of Newmark New Spectrum, noting that Quiksilver Boardriders Club is on 42nd Street. “Four years ago, all you saw were tourists in Bermuda shorts and cameras. Now there are surfers and MTV kids.” Roseman said he represented the landlord, SL Green Realty Co., and that Paul Berkman, Newmark’s managing director, represented the tenant.

Roseman said the asking rent for the Billabong site was $550 a foot, and that Billabong is paying north of $500.

Billabong, based in Irvine, Calif., originated in Australia. Its products are sold through licensed operations and distributors around the world. Billabong operates six U.S. company-owned stores, but the Times Square Billabong and Element stores are licensed by Ed Leasure, who operates board sports stores on the East Coast. Another licensed store opened last month in Santa Cruz in northern California.

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