Billionaire Italian businessman Leonardo Del Vecchio’s Luxottica behind $73M Fifth Avenue buy

Property traded for nearly $1,400 a foot
By Katherine Clarke | June 16, 2016 08:00AM

1 West 37th Street (Inset of Leonardo Del Vecchio)

1 West 37th Street (Inset of Leonardo Del Vecchio)

Luxottica U.S. Holding Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of the Italian conglomerate that owns eyewear brands such as Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban, Oakley and Lenscrafters, has snagged an office and retail building just off Fifth Avenue for $73 million.

The building, at 1 West 37th Street last traded for just $25.5 million in 2013 to an Argentinian partnership represented by boutique brokerage and consultancy firm Hogg Holdings.

Luxottica, headed by billionaire Italian businessman Leonardo Del Vecchio, plans to turn the property into its New York corporate headquarters.

David Greene of Murray Hill Properties represented Luxottica in the deal.

The 11-story loft building dates back to 1912 and has approximately 53,250 square feet of above grade space, including 46,047 square feet of office and 4,000 square feet of retail. It has been shopped around by several different brokerages over the past two years, sources said.

Del Vecchio is one of the richest men in Europe. Forbes pegs his personal wealth at close to $17 billion.

He’s just the latest European moneyman to pay a high premium for a prime New York City asset. Earlier this month, French billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière closed on the $525 million purchase of Thor Equities’ 693 Fifth Avenue in Midtown, which he bought for nearly four times the price paid by Thor in 2010.