We want our MTV back!http://www.nypost.com/seven/08112009...ues_184013.htm
The cable channel plans to unplug its famed studio overlooking Times Square at the end of the year, according to landlord SL Green, which has put the space on the market.
MTV's parent, Viacom, didn't renew its studio lease when it extended its lease on more than 1 million square feet of offices at 1515 Broadway, between 44th and 45th streets, last year. And while it could still make an offer on the space that's now possibly 10 times more costly than it was 12 years ago, it has not yet done so.
"We're taking it back from MTV at end of year," SL Green Leasing Director Steven Durels said. "We're actively marketing it, and we think it will be the crowning touch of the retail development we've done since we bought the building," which signed store tenants Billabong, Element and Bank of America.
A rep for MTV and Viacom's real estate brokers at CB Richard Ellis declined to comment.
An MTV exit from the glass-fronted studio would mark an end of the era that saw Times Square's whirlwind transformation from a drug-infested crime zone to a safe, gaily-lit mecca for theatergoers and tourists.
Durels said the 22,216-square-foot, second-floor studio -- which has block-long, 167-foot frontage and 16-foot-high windows visible to daily hordes of office employees, shoppers and visitors from around the world -- could be used as a store or for another "broadcast use."
He didn't say how much Green was asking, but databases list it at $450 a square foot for the studio, and a whopping $1,000 a square foot for the 1,624-square-foot MTV store at street level, which must be taken with the studio space, for a total rent of $11.6 million a year.
But a source said that number could go up or down depending on whether a new tenant took advantage of "super-signage" options on the building's corners.
It wasn't known how much MTV is paying under its old lease. But an insider called it an "apples and oranges" comparison. When the studio lease was signed in the 1990s, it was "for a use that didn't even exist in Times Square, and it was rented as if it was office space." Office rents at the time were as low as the $40s per square foot.
MTV opened the studio in 1997, when Times Square was emerging from its age of violence and porn as major new developments -- including the new headquarters of Condé Nast, Ernst & Young and the W Hotel -- raced toward completion.
The studio served as home to "TRL" hosted by Carson Daly, and drew throngs of tweens to the sidewalk below hoping to spot their favorite stars and snag autographs.
But after "TRL" ended its run last fall, the MTV suits apparently saw less need for the studio, which still hosts some shows and events.
Asked if MTV could change its mind, an insider noted, "It's obviously sensitive for them. Anything is possible -- but Viacom could have renewed on the studio when it renewed on the offices, at a time when SL Green was eager to make a deal. But it chose not to."