SL Green, Jeff Sutton buy 650 Fifth Ave. retail

Judge ordered seizure of Iran-backed tower in September
November 11, 2013 08:48AM

A joint venture between SL Green Realty and Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties has acquired the long-term leasehold for the retail portion of 650 Fifth Avenue, a Midtown tower that a New York federal judge previously ruled is a front for Iranian interests.

“We think it’s at the highest end of retail properties,” Marc Holliday, SL Green’s chief executive, told the Wall Street Journal of the 30,000-square-foot space at the 36-story tower at 52nd Street.

In September, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that two Iran-related entities, the Alavi Foundation and Assa Corporation, must forfeit their ownership stakes in the building to the federal government, as federal law prohibits business with Iran.

Holliday declined to comment on the financial terms of the 49-year deal, but court documents seen by the Journal indicate that the lease would bring the building over $10 million per year in additional revenue.

Last year, Vornado Realty Trust bought a retail condominium in the neighboring 666 Fifth Avenue  from Jared Kushner for $707 million, or more than $8,000 per square foot, as The Real Deal reported. [WSJ]Hiten Samtani