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Thor Equities Working Quickly On Williamsburg Retail Before L Train Shutdown

Thor Equities Working Quickly On Williamsburg Retail Before L Train Shutdown
A rendering of Thor Equities' retail property at 180 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Thor Equities is nearing completion on a retail property in prime Williamsburg real estate with an uncertain future.

Thor purchased the site of a former Salvation Army store at 176 Bedford Ave. in October 2016 for $30M and anticipates completing its new structure by the end of the year, Brownstoner reports. The two-story space contains 14,500 SF dedicated to retail, including a lower level, with a 2,500 SF rooftop terrace.

Although the Bedford Avenue corridor is among the most expensive for retail rents in Brooklyn, with nearby tenants such as an Apple Store, Whole Foods, Brooklyn Brewery and Ralph Lauren, Thor has not yet signed any tenants. It is open to renting the building, which will be 180 Bedford Ave. upon completion, to either one or multiple tenants, according to Brownstoner.

Complicating matters is the looming shutdown of the L train, which is scheduled to last from April 2019 until July 2020. Its Bedford Avenue stop is by far the most direct route from Williamsburg into Manhattan. The next closest subway stop that leads into Manhattan is the J-M-Z stop at Marcy Avenue, a 17-minute walk from 180 Bedford, according to Google Maps. Thor claims the rush to completion has nothing to do with the closure.

"I don’t think [the L train shutdown] played into it," Thor spokesman Josh Greenwald told Brownstoner. "We saw there was a lot of interest in the building and we wanted to move forward and have it done as soon as we could so we could lease it as soon as possible.”

Thor's movement on the property stands in contrast to its activity in Manhattan, where it has multiple retail properties up for sale amid the most difficult leasing environment in the borough in 17 years.