by Daniel Geiger
Hertz Rental Car is exploring a roughly 30,000 s/f lease in 11 Times Square for a showroom that will display green cars, including advanced and concept car models.
According to people familiar with the potential deal, Hertz would take a portion of both the ground floor of the building and either part of the second floor or a basement level. The space will be open to tourists and visitors and will showcase fuel efficient cars and electric vehicles that feature advanced design and technology.
A source said that Tesla, a California based manufacturer of high end electric vehicles, would have some of its models on display in the location. The person, who did not want to be quoted because the deal is still in negotiations, said that the new space would be one of seven green car showrooms that the rental car company plans to unveil globally. Hertz, according to this person, is planning to open one of the specialized showrooms in China, where it has recently announced intentions to boost its fleet of green cars and participate in an electric vehicle program in Shanghai.
Hertz appears to be one of the more proactive rental car companies to adopt lower emission vehicles. The company has dedicated a portion of its website specifically to green cars and offers several hybrid automobiles for rent, a wider selection than some rivals. The source said that Hertz wouldn’t actually rent cars out of the space at 11 Times Square but that the facility may serve to feed business into two nearby rental car locations it has.
A spokeswoman for Hertz said that the “company is always looking at space in Manhattan,” but would neither confirm nor deny whether a deal was on at 11 Times Square.
Times Square is one of the city’s most expensive retail submarkets and many retailers – and even companies not normally involved directly in the retailing business – open stores there as an opportunity to boost their brand awareness or role out attention-grabbing concepts or products. 11 Times Square sits somewhat at the periphery of the neighborhood, on the corner of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, but the area has gained increasing prominence in recent years.
11 Times Square has been close to landing a high profile retail deal since the skyscraper was completed last year, including a huge aquarium that would fill the building’s base floors. That deal, which was being arranged with developer Jerry Shefsky, didn’t come to fruition, but retail experts have predicted that the million s/f property will eventually secure an eye-catching anchor for the retail space.
Executives at SJP Properties couldn’t be reached for comment. A leasing team at the property from the real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis also couldn’t be reached.