Real Estate

Planet Hollywood has new, boldly expanded iteration hurtling toward NYC

Planet Hollywood III is coming to town – but this sequel will feature some major plot twists on founder Robert Earl’s original concept.

His global hospitality company Earl Enterprises has signed a lease for a new, four-level, 17,500-square-foot Planet Hollywood at 140 W. 42nd St. between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, Realty Check has learned. It will occupy the lowest floors of the building that’s home to a Hilton Garden Inn, but will not be part of the hotel.

Newmark’s Jeffrey Roseman brokered the deal with his firm’s Drew Weiss and Marc Leber. The starting asking rent for the 15-year lease was in the low $3 million a year range.

The retail-condominium space is owned by financial firm Macquarie. It has been vacant since the building opened six years ago.

“Robert really wanted to come back to Times Square,” Roseman said. “The deal actually started pre-COVID but everything froze when it hit. The conversation picked up again in the summer of 2021.”

Robert Earl posing at an event
Robert Earl, who heads up global hospitality company Earl Enterprises, is going sky-high concept with the new restaurant, which will include a delivery service and three environments from which diners can choose.
WireImage

Planet Hollywood has had a long, up-and-down and up-again Big Apple presence. It first opened on West 57th Street in 1991 with boldface promoters including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Demi Moore.

It later moved to 1540 Broadway, where it lost some of its celebrity cachet but feasted on the Times Square corporate and tourist booms for 20 years. A widely reported rent dispute with landlord Vornado ended in a settlement. 

Unlike previous Planet Hollywoods in the city, the new one on West 42nd Street will have three distinct components. Earl called the concept “a new interpretation on our restaurant” that will be “more complex and more appealing to New York locals as well as tourists.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Sylvester Stallone circa 1991
Nascent days: Original Planet Hollywood investors included, from left, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Demi Moore (with Bruce Willis to her left) and Sylvester Stallone.
AFP via Getty Images

The Planet Hollywood eatery on floors two and three will have 250 seats, about half as many as at 1540 Broadway which closed before COVID.  The venue will offer two distinct themes, Earl said – “an homage to movies” similar to the original Planet Hollywoods, and “more of an art gallery installation environment” showcasing works of famous artists who “focus on their own Hollywood twists.”

The ground floor will have a 100-seat outpost of Chicken Guy, a fast-casual collaboration between Earl and celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

Guy Fieri attends the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest in February  2022
The new Planet Hollywood will include a fast-casual chicken eatery conceived by Earl and celebrity chef Guy Fieri (seen here attending the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest earlier this month).
WireImage

Earl also co-founded delivery-only food service Virtual Dining Concepts, and so Planet Hollywood’s the third component will be a “virtual dining” facility for delivery to “all the great office buildings and hotels nearby,” he said.

Customers can order dishes prepared in the location’s “massive kitchen” for 10 different food brands.    

One of them will be MrBeast Burger from  “Mr. Beast” Jimmy Donaldson, who was named by Forbes last month as YouTube’s highest-earning star with $54 million in revenue in 2021. Customers can customize meals by choosing items from more than one brand on a single order, Earl said.

A busy Times Square shot with Planet Hollywood sign lit up
The new location will be the third Manhattan incarnation for Planet Hollywood.
ullstein bild via Getty Images

Although it’s only steps away from the Bowtie’s bright lights, the new address also benefits from being amid the block’s office towers, such as the Durst Organization’s One Five One and One Bryant Park Ivanhoe Cambridge’s 1095 Sixth Ave. Earl expects them to provide a strong customer base to augment the tourist trade.

Earl, a theme-restaurant pioneer who also once owned the Hard Rock Café chain, said of his company, “Look, everything has evolved. The consumer has evolved. We’re 30 years on and stayed current and relevant.”

Earl Enterprises owns huge casinos and resorts in Las Vegas and Mexico, restaurant brands including  Buca di Beppe and Earl of Sandwich, and Planet Hollywoods from Los Angeles to Qatar. The new Manhattan location will be the restaurant chain’s seventh.

Robert Earl and Arnold Schwarzenegger share spaghetti at a 2013 event
Robert Earl raises a meatball toast with Arnold Schwarzenegger at a 2013 event.
Bryan Bedder

Earl is unshakably confident in the future of Times Square and of the city. “I consider myself a global businessman,” he said. “I’m constantly traveling and doing business everywhere.” From that perspective, he said, “If New York does not come back to its prior glory, no one will.”

He added, “We have a huge buildout ahead. We’ll try to be open by the end of the year.” He noted that, by then, it will be three years since the old Planet closed its doors and,  “I’m in a hurry.”

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