Thor Sheds Retail Condo in Midtown Manhattan

The New York-based international development and investment firm took time out from buying Manhattan assets and this time made a double return on investment with a Fifth Avenue sale.

Harbor Group International has acquired 445 Fifth Ave., a 20,000-square-foot retail condo building in Midtown Manhattan, from Thor Equities for $68 million.

Thor Equities acquired the property in 2011 for $32.5 million.445 5th Ave.

“Thor Equities identifies underperforming yet fundamentally sound properties in global urban centers, and works diligently to maximize value and generate strong returns by reducing operating expenses, increasing tenant satisfaction, and leveraging market trends to maintain a long-term competitive edge,” Joseph Sitt, Thor Equities’ CEO, told Commercial Property Executive.

According to Sitt, Thor Equities still believes strongly in the Fifth Avenue corridor, but felt the time was right to sell once successfully implementing its business plan of improving a prime retail location and securing a nationally recognized tenant.

The company recently signed women’s contemporary jewelry and accessory retailer Charming Charlie to the majority of the building’s retail space on the first and second floors.

Located steps from Bryant Park, 445 Fifth Ave. is surrounded by leading retailers such as Lord & Taylor, Zara, BCBG Max Azria, Zara and Elie Tahari, and is nearby Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, the Port Authority and Times Square.

Of course, Thor Equities is still a major owner of properties on Fifth Avenue. It owns 693 Fifth Ave. and 685 Fifth Ave. in the Plaza District; 597 Fifth Ave., 590 Fifth Ave., 564 Fifth Ave., 562 Fifth Ave., 530 Fifth Ave. and 520 Fifth Ave. in Midtown; and 172, 164 and 139 Fifth Ave. in Flatiron.

It’s been a busy time for Thor Equities, as well. Earlier this week, the firm acquired 180 Livingston St., a 257,000-square-foot office-and-retail property in downtown Brooklyn for $136 million; and earlier this month announced it was developing a $125 million luxury mixed-use project in Houston.