Thor files demolition plans for three adjacent Midtown properties

By Zachary Kussin | April 26, 2012 05:11PM

Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities filed demolition plans yesterday for three adjacent properties on Fifth Avenue, according to city Department of Buildings records. Thor plans to redevelop the three buildings, located at 516, 518 and 520 Fifth Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets, into a 300,000-square-foot building, a spokesperson said. The plans call for building “an architecturally significant modern glass building,” according to a press release the firm sent to The Real Deal.

It will include retail, hotel and residential components. Thor already owns several properties along Fifth Avenue in Midtown and is interested in these three buildings because, a spokesperson noted, “Rental Rates On Fifth Avenue exploded.” He declined to answer other questions.

Sitt purchased the three buildings March 9 from Aby Rosen’s RFR Holding for $132 million after going into contract in November 2011, city records show.

The project, at 516-520 Fifth Avenue, can be built larger than its base zoning code permits because the prior developer at the site, RFR Holding, bought air rights in June 2007 from 5 West 43rd Street for $19.6 million and from 15 West 43rd Street in 2007 for $12.8 million, according to city property records.

Thor is currently doing abatement at the site, the company’s spokesperson said, with demolition to commence by the end of this year.

At today’s Massey Knakal Real Estate Investment Summit, Sitt, the company’s CEO, told The Real Deal: “I think we’re already started,” and declined to answer other questions.

Thor also owns 693 Fifth Avenue between 54th and 55th streets, as well as the Scribner Building at 597 Fifth Avenue, between 48th 49th streets.

— Additional reporting provided by Katherine Clarke and Adam Pincus.