Denali Management Buys 17 West 125th Street From Thor for $21M

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Thor Equities has sold a mixed-use Harlem property at 17 West 125th Street at an $8.6 million loss, after facing foreclosure on the building last year, according to property records made public Friday. 

Denali Management nabbed the 46,200-square-foot building for just $21 million, cheaper than the $29.6 million Thor paid for it in 2015, according to property records. 

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The sale marks an end to a legal battle between Thor and its lender, East West Bank, over $23 million in debt on the five-story property between Fifth and Lenox avenues. 

East West filed a lawsuit in April of 2021 to foreclose on the building, claiming Thor was delinquent on acquisition and project financing it had provided in 2015. Denali purchased that $23 million debt when the 49-unit apartment complex went into pre-foreclosure in October, and East West followed by dropping its lawsuit against Thor just two weeks before Denali closed on the purchase on July 12, according to property and court records. 

The sale is a “sweet” deal for Denali — and not just because of the price. The building includes more than 9,000 square feet of retail space, in part leased to Insomnia Cookies. The 46,200-square-foot property also counts Smile Direct Club and Harlem Wine and Spirits among its retail tenants. 

The Harlem building isn’t the first to stir up trouble in Thor’s portfolio. The firm saw the value of 470 Broadway slashed last year in an appraisal, and a judge ordered the foreclosure sale of its two retail condos in SoHo at 115 Mercer Street. In 2019, U.S. Bank National Association sued to foreclose on Thor’s retail property at 494 Broadway, and its $17 million nonperforming CMBS loan on 1006 Madison Avenue was put up for sale in the same year, Commercial Observer previously reported

But the landlord has made some key acquisitions the past couple of years as it moves toward the industrial and life sciences markets and away from its struggling retail crop. Thor nabbed a 524,000-square-foot industrial portfolio in Georgia in July and closed on a full recapitalization of its warehouse at 280 Richard Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in early 2021, CO previously reported.

Thor, Denali and East West did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.