Since opening its original location on West 57th Street three decades ago, Planet Hollywood’s long-term success rate in its home city has proven spotty. But owner Robert Earl hopes the third time will be the charm.
Earl Enterprises, the restaurant chain’s parent company, has signed a lease for 17,500 square feet across four floors at 140 West 42nd Street, the New York Post reported. The restaurant will occupy the lowest floors of the building, a retail condo owned by Macquarie, which has sat vacant since the building opened six years ago.
The 15-year lease had annual asking rents starting in the “low $3 million” range, according to the Post. Newmark’s Jeffrey Roseman, who brokered the deal for both sides along with Drew Weiss and Marc Leber, told the Commercial Observer that the asking rent was “a little under $3.5 million a year.”
“Robert really wanted to come back to Times Square,” Roseman told the Post. “The deal actually started pre-COVID but everything froze when it hit. The conversation picked up again in the summer of 2021.”
Planet Hollywood was a hot ticket in the early 1990s, when the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone put a public face on its location at West 57th Street. It later moved to 1540 Broadway, but ran into trouble well before the pandemic battered Times Square’s tourist attractions.
In October 2020, the memorabilia-clad chain was sued by its landlord, Vornado Realty Trust, for $5.5 million in back rent at its former Times Square location allegedly dating to December 2018. That lawsuit ended in a settlement, according to the Post.
Earl has a very specific plan for how the latest Planet Hollywood outpost will succeed. The ground floor will include a 100-seat location for Chicken Guy, the fast-casual restaurant chain launched by Earl and celebrity restaurateur Guy Fieri. The two floors above will have 250 seats for Planet Hollywood styled as an homage to filmmaking along with a movie-themed art gallery.
The space will also include a delivery-only facility, where a kitchen will prepare to-go food from 10 brands, including MrBeast Burger. Earl has leaned into the delivery-only concept in recent months. His Virtual Dining Concepts is partnering with TikTok to open about 300 kitchens across the country. The venture is expected to launch next month and expand to more than 1,000 locations by the end of the year.
As for the new Planet Hollywood, Earl is aiming to open it by the end of the year, telling the Post that he’s “in a hurry.”
[NYP] —Holden Walter-Warner