Bowery Ballroom Backers to Open Biggest Midtown Music Club in a Decade

wellborn boweryballroom1h Bowery Ballroom Backers to Open Biggest Midtown Music Club in a DecadeThe largest music hall to open in Midtown in a decade will debut in early October at the former 11th Avenue site of the frequently troubled Exit nightclub.

The Bowery Presents, the group behind downtown music halls Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge, will open Terminal 5, a 3,000-person concert hall. The group, headed up by partners Michael Swier, Jim Glancy and John Moore, signed a 25-year lease for the 40,000-square-foot space and will pay around $35 a square foot, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. The annual rent for the space at 610 West 56th Street will come out to about $1.4 million.

Alex Picken, the broker who orchestrated the deal, told The Observer that the concert hall will rival Hammerstein Ballroom and Roseland in terms of size.

“The acts will be comparable to Madison Square Garden, but the space will be on par with those two places,” Mr. Picken said.

The Bowery Presents started out small. In 1994, it began managing and operating the Mercury Lounge at 217 East Houston Street. In 1998, it added the 575-person Bowery Ballroom to its management portfolio.

Over the years, both locations have become favorite places for locally bred acts like the Strokes and Interpol to test out their material before heading out on tour.

Exit, however, developed quite a different reputation. Initially renowned for attracting some of the world’s biggest D.J.s, the David Marvisi-owned club became known for its prevalent drug activity and police presence in its later years. The space closed for good in October 2006.

“There was a lot of craziness, a lot of drugs going on in the place,” Frank Graziadei, the lawyer for the landlord, said. “My client got fed up, and when we closed them down we looked at getting a different venue for the space.”

Mr. Graziadei said that there were other club owners in the city who were willing to pay more for the space, but his client was intent on switching gears with the new tenant.

“The neighborhood is starting to turn residential,” Mr. Graziadei said. “I think this venue will help change the reputation of the address. The new people moving in have impeccable records on their other places.”