Thor Equities Shells Out $277 million for Retail Block on Madison Avenue
Joseph Sitt, chief executive and chairman of Thor Equities, a retail proprietary firm, has reportedly purchased the much bid-for Madison Avenue lot for $277 million. The Helmsley Carlton House space sale made it one of the largest sales in the retail property sector.
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Another bidder, The Vornado Realty Trust, bid to pay $280 million for the lot, but could not manage to acquire the land and the deal fell apart. The 35,000 square foot lot, now belongs to Thor Equities, which is now planning to high-end brand tenants for the brand new commercial space, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Thor Equities has been a retail property giant for a while. It made earlier investments in areas of Meatpacking District and SoHo. Sitt founded the company in 1986 and is headquartered in New York. Thor Equities also owns a clothes manufacturing retail store - Ashley Stewart - that provides plus-size clothing for women.
The Madison Avenue purchase is the firm's first investment in the area, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Madison Avenue is most famous for the number of advertising firms in the neighborhood. Real estate in the area has been running low in the period of recession. However, with the economy on a slow rebound, and some huge lot purchases like the Thor Equities acquisition, the avenue is shifting tracks for the better.
In the recession drowned period, the rent of properties on Madison Avenue went down to $500 per square feet and more than a dozen lots were left vacant. However, Sitt is quite positive about the purchase, reports the WSJ.
"Madison Avenue is the strongest street in terms of increasing rents of late. Fifth Avenue popped a little earlier, and Madison Avenue came to the party a little bit later," Sitt told the WSJ.