WARNER BROS. CONFIRMS PLANS FOR TIMES SQUARE STUDIO STORE

Byline: Sharon Edelson

NEW YORK — Warner Bros. said Friday it will open a 130,000-square-foot Studio Store at One Times Square, the world-famous building from which the ball is dropped every New Year’s Eve.
This confirms a report in these pages on Oct. 31.
The store, which is slated to open late next year, is diagonally opposite a Disney Store that opened last month at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue. Warner Bros. is leasing all 23 floors of the building, which has essentially been vacant for two years.
Gap’s Old Navy Clothing Corp. is said to be looking across the street at 4 Times Square, a new building being developed by Douglas Durst.
“This is something we’ve been working on for a while,” said Peter Starrett, president of worldwide retail for Warner Bros. “We have a phenomenal opportunity to create something that will be very different than our Fifth Avenue and 57th Street flagship, but another major statement for Warner Bros. Studio Stores.”
Starrett said the company is much less restricted in terms of exterior ornamentation and signage than it was on Fifth Avenue, where “the Fifth Avenue Association has some of the strictest rules in the city.”
“Times Square is just the opposite,” he said. “Whatever you do, they want you to do it big.”
As for the store itself, Starrett said the company is considering “various scenarios.” In addition to retail, it will have an entertainment attraction and possibly a restaurant. Warner Bros. said there are no firm plans yet for “the zipper,” the electronic bulletin board that circles the building with news bulletins.
One Times Square has been associated with New Year’s Eve celebrations since it opened as the Times Tower on Dec. 31, 1904, with a great fireworks display. It was remodeled in 1966, when it was known as the Allied Chemical Tower.
“The building is one of the most photographed buildings in the world,” Starrett said. “There’s a neat opportunity to tie into the New Year’s Eve piece of this.”
Watch out for the falling carrot.

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