Thor Equities refinanced its retail condominium at the base of luxury co-op The Carlton House at 680 Madison Avenue with Morgan Stanley, a source confirmed to Mortgage Observer. The $175 million first mortgage closed last month, according to records recently filed with the city.
Thor purchased the building’s block-long retail space for $277 million in January 2013—one of the highest prices ever paid for a retail property on Madison—from Extell Development, which is in the process of converting the upper floors into cooperative residential units.
The loan presumably replaces a $115 million mortgage provided to Thor by M&T Bank a year and a half ago.
The buy was seen as a gutsy one for Thor when it edged out Vornado for the buy last year. For perspective, Extell, in partnership with Angelo Gordon & Co., paid only $170 million for the entire project in 2010.
But time has proved Thor, led by Joseph Sitt, mostly right. Retail rents have surged in the last six months, with asking rents on the city’s hottest retail strips topping $3,000 per square foot in more than one instance.
A call to Morgan Stanley was not returned; a Thor representative declined to comment on the transaction.