Thor Equities JV Buys Manhattan’s 530 Fifth Ave.

Thor Equities continues building up its presence on Manhattan’s famed Fifth Avenue, closing on the purchase of 530 Fifth Ave., a 26-story office and retail building, for $595 million.

530-Fifth-Avenue

Thor Equities continues building up its presence on Manhattan’s famed Fifth Avenue, closing on the purchase of 530 Fifth Ave., a 26-story office and retail building, for $595 million. It is the firm’s 12th asset on Fifth Avenue stretching from 20th Street north to the tony Plaza District at 55th Street.

General Growth Properties and RXR Realty joined Thor on the acquisition purchase from a partnership of Rockwood Capital, Jamestown, Crown Acquisitions and Murray Hill Properties. The Rockwood Capital and Jamestown partnership, which announced the pending sale in June, acquired the building that occupies the entire western block between 44th and 45th streets in early 2012 for $390 million and invested more than $10 million to modernize the building’s infrastructure. Renovations included upgrades to the lobby, HVAC system, elevators and common areas.

“The sale of 530 Fifth Avenue demonstrates the strength of the capital market for high-quality assets in great locations,” Tyson Skillings, a managing partner at Rockwood, said in a release. “We are pleased with the successful execution of this investment. Of late we have been harvesting where our value-add plans are complete while looking for investment opportunities in which Rockwood can add value and outperform over the long term.”

The sale was “consistent with Rockwood’s overall strategy of targeting investments in unique, walkable environments in urban and ‘urban/suburban/ submarkets that feature a vibrant mix of land uses and access to transit,” according to the release.

Already featured on its website, Thor cites 530 Fifth Ave.’s “unparalleled location” along the “most prestigious shopping corridor in the world.” The property has more than 56,000 square feet of retail space and 200 feet of frontage on Fifth Avenue.

Thor, a leading urban real estate development, leasing and management firm that has a $5 billion portfolio with more than 15 million square feet, states that the building, “is suited perfectly for retailers looking for spacious layouts, prime location and amazing visibility.” Current retail tenants include JPMorgan Chase, Fossil and Desigual.

The Desigual lease for 10,450 square feet was cited as the 6th top transaction in the Manhattan retail market for the second quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s MarketBeat Retail Snapshot Q2 2014 report. The asking rents for Lower Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th streets were $1,063 per square foot for the second quarter compared to $540 per square foot five years ago. Cushman & Wakefield noted that Upper Fifth Avenue, where Thor Equities bought 685 Fifth Ave. this summer, commands the highest retail rent in Manhattan with asking rents of $2,749 per square feet as of second quarter.

The property at 530 Fifth Ave. also has about 480,000 square feet of office space located in a prime Midtown area near Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal. Cablevision, Massachusetts Mutual, Lionsgate and Diageo North America are among the building’s office tenants. Cushman & Wakefield’s MarketBeat Office Snapshot for Q3 2014 stated average asking rates rose in Midtown, finishing the quarter at $73.72 per square, up nearly 8 percent from the same quarter in 2013. The report described Midtown office leasing as “robust,” but did note that the overall vacancy rate has been between 11 percent and 11.5 percent for more than a year.