The Real Deal New York

Ralph Sitt pays $48M for Joe Fresh space in UES condo tower

Struggling Canadian retailer closed store at 1055 Madison, but still leases it

October 02, 2015 08:00AM
By Mark Maurer Twitter_logo_blue copy

Joe Fresh NYC

From left: 1049-1059 Madison Avenue, also known as 45 East 80th Street, on the Upper East Side and Joe Fresh storefront (inset: James Murphy)

Ralph Sitt’s Status Capital bought a retail condominium unit at the base of a 27-story residential condo building on the Upper East Side for $48 million.

Struggling Canada-based clothing chain Joe Fresh continues to lease the 10,000-square-foot space at 1049-1059 Madison Avenue, also known as 45 East 80th Street, despite vacating it this summer, sources told The Real Deal. Joe Fresh inked a short-term lease in 2012 and has two years remaining. Sources said the retailer plans to be bought out.

Sitt acquired the condo from the estate of late art collector Norman Alexander, for $4,800 per square foot. The space includes 4,500 square feet on both the ground and lower level, and 1,000 square feet on the mezzanine level.

The ADCO Group, a Midtown East-based development firm, built the 101,390-square-foot property in the late 1980s. There are 50 residential condo units.

Colliers International’s James Murphy and Margaret O’Keefe, who represented the seller, declined to comment, as did Sitt.

Average retail asking rents north of 79th Street along Madison Avenue are about $600 per square foot. Joe Fresh was paying “considerably below that,” sources said.

Loblaw Cos., the parent company of Joe Fresh, announced in May its plans pull out of 200 JCPenney stores nationwide and make a shift toward smaller retail outposts. Joe Fresh’s remaining locations in the city are 462 Broadway in Soho, and 110 Fifth Avenue, 510 Fifth Avenue and 215 West 34th Street in Midtown, according to its website.

In August, Sitt and Ralph Tawil’s Centurion Realty sold a retail-and-office building in Soho to Morgan Stanley Real Estate for $70 million, double what they paid in 2012.

Sitt, a long-time managing member of family firm Sitt Asset Management, is embroiled in several legal disputes with his brothers Eddie and Jack over their business practices.