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SL Green Takes Over Fifth Avenue Properties From Jeff Sutton, Thor Equities

590 Fifth Ave.

SL Green has picked up two Fifth Avenue retail properties on which it served as a mezzanine lender as rents decline along the famous retail block. 

The real estate investment trust acquired the entity that owns 590 Fifth Ave. in Midtown from Thor Equities. It moved to foreclose on the property, which is valued at $84.5M, in August after Thor defaulted on its loan, The Real Deal reported at the time.

SL Green also acquired the leasehold on 85 Fifth Ave. in the Flatiron District from Brookfield Properties and Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties, according to property transfer tax filings. 

A source familiar with the 590 Fifth Ave. acquisition told Bisnow the REIT paid $110M for an equity stake in the property, $20M more than it was purchased for in 2013. Bisnow wasn't able to confirm the sale price. Spokespeople for SL Green and Thor Equities declined to comment.

Property records over the past few months show that SL Green gained control of the LLC of the debtor, Thor Equities LLC, and the lender — previously held by the Midland Life Insurance Co. It then assigned control of the mortgage, worth $83M, to Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo and SL Green agreed that the mortgage would secure a credit agreement made in November 2017, according to an agreement recorded Monday

SL Green also acquired the retail leasehold at 85 Fifth Ave. for $59M, according to property transfer tax filings. Wharton Properties and General Growth Properties (later acquired by Brookfield) purchased the same leasehold for $80M in 2015, property transfer tax filing records show.

PincusCo. Media first reported the transactions. Wharton Properties, Brookfield Properties and Wells Fargo didn't respond to requests for comment. 

Both Jeff Sutton and Thor Equities founder Joe Sitt were responsible for propelling Fifth Avenue retail rents to become the priciest in the city pre-pandemic. 

Retail rents along the strip dropped 5% year-over-year in June, and 25% since June of 2018 as foot traffic from tourist dwindles amid the pandemic. The area continued to see rent drops in Q3. 

The 19-story 590 Fifth Ave. contains 100K SF of office and retail space. AT&T is the retail tenant on the ground floor. Nearly 25K SF of the building is available to rent, according to Thor's website.

Coworking company Knotel also inked a 12K SF office lease at the location in May 2019. It was sued by another landlord for millions in alleged unpaid rent this summer, and it is reportedly looking to slash 60% of its real estate portfolio.

85 Fifth Ave., located in Union Square, is 13 stories. It is home to clothing store Anthropologie, whose parent company, Urban Outfitters, reported a 16.5% year-over-year decline in sales in Q3, according to The Wall Street Journal