20 Times Square, aka 701 Seventh Avenue, is almost complete. The tower already has one of the largest LED screens in Times Square, spanning a whopping 18,000 square feet. In February, doors will officially open to the 517-foot, 42-story, 452-key Marriott Edition hotel, wrapped in glass panels and topped with the logo on its western and southern facades. Witkoff, Ian Schrager Company, Winthrop Realty Trust, and Maefield Development are the developers, while Platt Byard Dovell White Architects (PBDW Architects) is the project’s architect.
20 Times Square, photo by Michael Young
The building will come with corner balconies for several rooms, a 5,000 square foot performance venue, a 1,900 square foot studio, a fitness center, and a 5,800 square foot rooftop beer garden and cabaret theatre. Access to the hotel will be provided from 47th Street, at the corner of the building. Hershey’s and the NFL Experience are the two current occupants of the retail component. As the building is set to open in less than three months, YIMBY has a quick look back at the history of the site.
The rooftop beer garden at 20 Times Square. Photo from main website for Marriott Edition Times Square.
The Cabaret Theatre at 20 Times Square. Photo from main website for Marriott Edition Times Square.
20 Times Square was formerly the home of the Columbia Theatre from 1910 to 1960, which underwent two renovations and saw multiple iterations of its exterior signage. The building was then rebranded as the DeMille Theatre in 1960, the Mark I,II, III Triplex in 1976, the Embassy 2,3,4 in 1977, and the Embassy 1,2,3 in 1997. By 2000 it was internally abandoned with the exception of the ground floor, which held a Sbarro Pizzeria and Famous Dave’s B-B-Q through the first decade of the twentieth century.
In 2014, partial demolition around the preserved, remnant steel perimeter structure began, as explained in this detailed YIMBY article.
Most of the work went into the extra steel reinforcements needed to brace and utilize the old structure that was left standing. It would be integrated and used to once again hold billboards, but on a much larger scale. Four years later, the old and new steel structure hide behind an eight-story wrap-around screen above 47th Street and 7th Avenue. Photos below give a brief overview of the superstructure’s rise over the past three years.
20 Times Square February 2016 with the perimeter steel structure remaining for future integration with the new tower. Photo by Yimby forum user chris08876
20 Times Square July 2016. Photo by Michael Young
20 Times Square April 2017. Photo by Yimby forum user 5Bfilms
One of the first still images shown on the LED screen back in 2017. Photo by Michael Young
When the new LED screen was turned on and tested in mid-2017, an array of bright, geometric and boldly colorful moving patterns and landscapes began flashing across the eight-story screen for the first time. 20 Times Square’s billboard is just one of several large new screens in the vicinity embracing new advertising technology, as tourists continue flocking to the Crossroads of the World in record numbers. As of now, 20 Times Square’s LED screen comes in second place to the 25,000 square foot LED screen at the Marriott Marquis, rising above the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue.
Hotel bookings are currently open and available through the building’s main website. The first guests check in on February 1, 2019.