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TIMES SQUARE OWNERS SEEK CH. 11 PROTECTION

The owners of the Times Square building, from which a lighted ball drops to signal the new year, have filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.

The building, 1 Times Square Plaza, is 50 percent empty. A lawyer for the owners, C. Albert Parente, said Friday that difficulties in obtaining money to modernize the building and a drop in billboard advertising led to the filing.Parente promised the ball would still drop next New Year's Eve.