A major New York landlord is paying top dollar to make inroads in L.A.’s retail real estate.
Thor Equities, one of the largest property owners on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, is in escrow to acquire a 12,400-square-foot retail building on trendy Robertson Boulevard for $27 million, according to sources with knowledge of the transaction. The seller, Chicago real estate company L3 Capital, acquired the property only 15 months ago for $15.8 million.
At about $2,177 a square foot, the sale of 145 N. Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood would be the third most expensive in Los Angeles County this year, according to CoStar Group Inc. Only two other properties – both in Beverly Hills – sold for more on a per-square-foot basis.
In April, Paris retailer Chanel Inc. bought a 16,100-square-foot store at 408 N. Rodeo Drive for $100 million, or $6,200 a square foot. In March, New York real estate investment firm Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. bought an 18,000-square-foot Armani Exchange store at 400 N. Camden Drive for $40 million, or $2,222 a square foot.
While the price Thor is paying for property might seem high for the fashionable street, it doesn’t compare to what the New York firm paid for the only other property it owns on Robertson. In 2008, Thor acquired storefronts totaling 4,600 square feet at 142-146 S. Robertson for $14.6 million, or $3,144 a square foot.
Jay Luchs, an executive vice president at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank who brokered Chanel’s Rodeo deal earlier this year and has worked with Thor on lease deals in the past, said the sale might indicate changing fortunes for retailers on the street. During the recession, Robertson saw the disappearance of many long-time retailers, including Lisa Kline.
“Thor is an aggressive buyer. They like high-end tenants and they like to control an area,” he said. “Robertson is an international street that could start seeing major change for the better again.”
A four-story medical office building near Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica sold earlier this month for $26 million.
Century City real estate investment firm Goldstein Planting Investments, which owns a handful of other commercial properties in Los Angeles, closed the off-market sale of 1919 Santa Monica Blvd. on Oct. 9.
The seller, Dr. Bruce Gillis of medical research firm Gillis Family Partnership, purchased the 47,000-square-foot building five years ago for $21 million. The building was about 70 percent leased at the time of sale, though Gillis, who occupied offices of about 10,000 square feet in the building, plans to move out in the next few months.
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