New York property investor Joseph Sitt, founder and CEO of Thor Equities, has now closed the acquisition of a notable retail building at 65-67 Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris for about US$343 million (Euros 260 million). The deal was first announced four months ago.
The sellers of the “trophy” retail, office and residential property are said to be a Middle Eastern family, according to the Financial Times. Currently the building is fully leased and has both Nike and Tommy Hilfiger among its prime retail tenants.
The property is situated in the heart of the fashion capital of Paris. The nearly 110, 000 square foot building features street-facing retail units, as well as upper-level offices and residential units in the rear. Its historic stone façade and two interior courtyards add a level of charm and character that are unmatched.
At about $3, 000 per square foot by my calculation it is certainly not a cheap purchase, but the high rents it can command will obviously reflect the location.
Thor Equities’ Chief Executive Officer Joe Sitt is very happy with the purchase saying, “The Champs-Élysées is a symbol of world class luxury. This property is located in the epicenter of Paris’ premier shopping destination and attracts the top retail brands from around the world, ” and he continued…
“Demand for great spaces in the fashion capital is always at a premium making this building one of the most sought after in the city. The European market presents a great opportunity as we expand our global portfolio and the opportunity to acquire a property of this stature is a significant achievement.”
The new acquisition is a flagship deal for Thor as the company continues to expand its footprint in the European market. Thor purchased its first two French projects last year, including an office building in the heart of Paris and the luxury retail hub in Cannes, on the Riviera located at 65 Croisette.
Those acquisitions came on the heels of the company’s earlier acquisition of the iconic Burlington Arcade in London in 2010.
These moves come as a number of American hedge funds and private investors have been eyeing deals in Europe, of all kinds, as the continent has continued to experience economic distress. To long-term players who are liquid that is frequently a signal to buy.
About Thor Equities
Thor Equities is a, New York-headquartered, multifaceted international real estate development company, one that specializes in value-added investments in shopping centers and mixed-use urban developments in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
The company often focuses on buildings that have a particular historical cachet, such as the Burlington Arcade in London, the recently acquired Takashimaya building in the heart of Fifth Avenue or this newly announced acquisition in Paris.
Joseph Sitt the company founder and CEO puts the case quite frankly as follows: “It’s interesting dealing with history -through preservation you’re able to build a brand that then drives a for-profit model that exceeds what the value of an asset might have been had it not had that rich history, that rich story.”
Today, Thor Equities has an international retail, office, hotel, and residential portfolio valued at more than US$5 billion and totaling more than 15 million square feet.
About Joseph Sitt
Joseph Sitt, 49, was born in Brooklyn, New York, He was taught at an early age the value of hard work and social responsibility. While attending New York University, he began entrepreneurially working flea markets at the Aqueduct and Roosevelt racetrack parking lots.
Later he founded the Ashley Stewart chain of stores for Urban Brands, growing the chain to US$400 million in annual sales with over 380 stores. In 1998 he sold his personal interest in the chain to concentrate on Thor Equities, which he controlled and had founded earlier even while he was still in business school. In a very nice touch, Wikipedia discloses that he picked the name Thor for the company name originally because he was an avid Thor comic book fan, and thought it would fit his “concept of being the protector of the cities”.