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Thread: 693-695 5th Avenue Takashimaya Building

  1. #1

    Default 693-695 5th Avenue Takashimaya Building

    Thor wins Takashimaya

    Last Updated: 1:44 AM, June 2, 2010
    Posted: 1:26 AM, June 2, 2010

    It looks like the Takashimaya Building at 693 Fifth Ave. will end up in the capable hands of Joe Sitt of Thor Equities for just north of $140 million. Our spies said Sitt was given the good news yesterday morning -- and was told he had just a few days to sign a contract and deliver a substantial deposit or the building would be yanked from his clutches and handed to the next highest bidder.
    As we reported earlier this month, a slew of potential buyers had been whittled down to a mere five finalists. Along with Sitt, those included Vornado Realty Trust; a group that included David Werner; Jeff Sutton with SL Green Realty; and what turned out to be watch retailer Swatch.
    Caitlin Thorne Hersey
    SOLD: The 20-story Takashimaya Building, at 693 Fifth Ave., is being sold to Thor Equities for $140 million.

    The slender 20-story building, on the east side of the tony block between 53rd and 54th streets, contains a mere 97,500 square feet. The pricing equates to about $1,450 a foot. Most prospective buyers had talked of leaving the bottom two or three stories as retail, with the rest turned back into boutique offices for investment-type tenants.
    Nat Rockett, of Jones Lang LaSalle, who has been handling marketing for the Japanese retailer, did not return a call for comment.
    Sitt, who is an active retail and mall owner in Brooklyn and in Manhattan, among other places, also did not return a call or e-mail for comment. Thor owns 10 million square feet of retail, office, hotel and residential property worth over $3 billion. The company also has a $1 billion urban fund war chest ready to invest in properties like the Takashimaya Building. He recently sold a swath of land in Coney Island to the city, enabling large-scale redevelopment plans to move forward.

    What are the chances that this will now be torn down?!

    (The building is NOT landmarked)
    Police Precinct:18

    Address:6935 AVENUE,NEW YORK
    Lot Area:5625 sf
    Lot Frontage:50'Lot Depth:125
    Year Built:1991
    Number of Buildings:1
    Number of Floors:20
    Gross Floor Area:101,319 sf (estimated)
    Residential Units:0Total # of Units:4
    Land Use:Commercial and Office Buildings
    Commercial Overlay:
    Zoning Map #: 8c
    Landmark Building:No
    Historic District:No
    Dept. of City Planning, PLUTO 10v1 © 201

  2. #2

    Default Takashimaya Bldg to be brutally defaced

    When I read this article, I could not FUC....KING believe this. HOW IS THIS AN IMPROVEMENT, AND HOW CAN THIS A_HOLE BE PERMITTED TO DO THIS?

    NY is f..cked up, and I am outraged.

    The Takashimaya building, a Fifth Avenue trophy property, will undergo a major facelift and ground-floor expansion as part of the developer's plan to attract a prominent retailer to lease the first eight floors.

    Thor Equities closed on a deal to buy the building last week after it submitted a winning $142 million bid in June. The developer plans to spend an additional $40 million to $60 million to change the building's front façade and to expand the ground level up to 6,300 square feet from its current 3,500 square feet, an area considered too small to attract much retail interest.

    Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal

    The Takashimaya building on Fifth Avenue, left, will receive a major facelift and expansion to attract a prominent retailer.
    ."A Fifth Avenue location is like buying a billboard to the world," says Joe Sitt, Thor's chief executive. "This is the best strip of real estate and I wanted a property that was iconic."

    The Takashimaya building, which the Japanese retailer erected in 1993 between 54th and 55th streets as its U.S. flagship store, is less renowned than other Fifth Avenue properties in the East 50s such as the Peninsula Hotel or the Cartier building. But it does have one big advantage: Unlike many of the stately limestone properties on the avenue, the Takashimaya building doesn't have landmark status.

    That means Thor can take down the facade without seeking the Landmark Commissions' approval. Mr. Sitt plans to make the first eight floors available for retail, planning to replace the black and red granite columns and bowed-out sections with sleek glass windows to display merchandise. Mr. Sitt said he would offer a new tenant the right to name the building after its own brand.

    He plans to keep the original design for floors nine through 20. This will likely remain office space, but he said residential or even a hotel were also possible. Since the building is about 90% vacant, and with remaining tenant leases due to expire in the next couple of years, Thor will have a relatively clean slate for finding new tenants. But it means that the developer inherits a building with little existing source of revenue.

    Thor Equities

    A rendering of the completed space, with eight floors of retail space.
    .Officials at Takashimaya's New York office couldn't be reached to comment.

    Faith Hope Consolo, a retail specialist at broker Prudential Douglas Elliman, thinks it won't be hard for Thor to attract tenants paying up to $2,500 per square foot for the ground, which would be in line with other retailers on that strip of Fifth Avenue.

    She says Takashimaya arranged the retail space following the Henri Bendel "shop of shops" model, where one store showcases many different types of products in walled off areas. Ms. Consolo said it was a strategy that worked 30 years ago but wasn't appropriate today.

    "Fifth is not for the weak or undercapitalized," she said. But Mr. Sitt "ought to be able to attract dozens of contenders of the space."

    Among the contenders she sees: high-end department stores like Nordstrom, Harrods or Harvey Nichols, though they would have to adapt their model to fit a smaller space than they have used elsewhere. Mr. Sitt says he will be talking to European luxury goods companies that are eager for a Fifth Avenue store and see the U.S. market as healthier than back home.

    But he said he also plans to talk to more "moderately priced" outlets, noting that Abercrombie & Fitch has a popular Fifth Avenue store, and Japanese casual retailer Uniqlo recently signed a 15-year lease at 666 Fifth Ave.

    The Takashimaya building marks Thor Equities' first major New York purchase in three years, during which time the firm was primarily a seller.

    Mr. Sitt, who owns about five acres of property at Coney Island, has made headlines recently for his plans to demolish four century-old buildings on Surf Avenue that he says have been left to rot but have drawn protests from preservationist groups.

    Write to Craig Karmin at

  3. #3


    NY sucks. I cannot believe this!

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Sitt is clearly taste-free. This one is a mish-mash now, but soon it will become totally schizophrenic.

    The current facade at Takashimaya (693 Fifth Avenue; 1993) is a hodgepdge of PoMo applications, Johnson / Burgee in full dudgeon (some like it):

  5. #5


    Why don't they just put a Duane Reade and a Chase branch on all 8 floors and be done with it.

  6. #6


    I love this building. I can't understand how this huge wang Sitt can be permitted to deface this building and add a glass facade. This is not Times Square. NY must do something to preserve stone architecture. This is BULLSH.IT!!

  7. #7
    I admit I have a problem
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    North Koreatown


    The City Review calls Takashimaya "the best Post-Modern building in the city"

    Is Sitt the worst developer in NYC?
    There's plenty of competition, but I think evicting Coney Island's Astroland and bulldozing the Red Hook waterfront puts him in the lead.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by 212 View Post
    ....Is Sitt the worst developer in NYC?
    He's a PRI.CK! He should be sent to Guantanomo.

  9. #9


    I posted about Joe "No Taste" Sitt obtaining this building, and it's non landmarked status back in early June...
    No one even lifted an eyebrow?!

  10. #10


    Sorry, Scumonkey. I did not see your post. I was reading the WSJ online and saw how the HUGE SHLONG Sitt plans to deface this building. NY desperately needs guidelines and rules so that DI.CKS like him, Chang, Moinian, et al simply can't the city up. I'm really pissed off.

  11. #11


    Nothing to be sorry about
    I'm just glad to find out that I'm not the only one who is outraged
    at what Joe Shit er I mean Sitt is doing to this building!

  12. #12


    It drives me crazy that a bitch like Amanda Burden can dictate to one of the greatest architects in the world because she doesn't like the design, and yet at the same time a HUGE WANG like Sitt can come along and deface a building in one of the most prominent locations in the city.

  13. #13


    How refreshing!

  14. #14


    I'm very surprised that this prime stretch of 5th avenue is not under landmark's jurisdiction. If anything I would expect this building to be designated an individual landmark. These midtown trophies are the buildings that we should be saving - which will never be replicated again.

  15. #15
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton


    This building is too small for a Nordstrom. I've always liked it.

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