The Real Deal New York

Blimey! Thor buying London office tower from Tishman Speyer for $235M

Joe Sitt’s firm is making aggressive acquisitions push across the pond
By Katherine Clarke | August 06, 2017 08:46PM

Rob Speyer and Joe Sitt

Tishman Speyer and Thor Equities are among the biggest gorillas on the New York real estate scene — but now they’ve hashed out a deal on the other side of the pond.

Joseph Sitt’s Thor has inked a contract to pay Rob Speyer‘s Tishman Speyer $235 million (180 million pounds sterling), or $2,208 a foot, for a 106,404-square-foot office building at 100 New Oxford Street in London, sources told The Real Deal. 

Thor’s partner on the deal is an entity affiliated with AEW Capital Management, the same Boston-based investment management firm that acquired a minority stake in Brookfield Property Partners’ One New York Plaza for $223 million late last year.

For Tishman Speyer, the deal marks a significant profit over the 131.4 million pounds it paid for project in 2015, when it acquired it from the Hermes Real Estate and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

On its website, Tishman Speyer said the property, built in 1931, was 47 percent vacant when it made the acquisition. The six office floors and retail space, totaling about 18,500 square feet, are fully leased, the company claims. Office tenants at the building include WME Entertainment, Space Ape and property developer Stanhope. Retail tenants include Shake Shack, Jessops, Costa Coffee and All Bar One.

Thor had been in talks for the property since June according to CoStar, but a deal was not formally signed until now.

Spokespersons for Thor and Tishman declined to comment.

Sources said Thor sees the potential value proposition in the fact that the building is just 100 yards from Tottenham Court Road tube station, which is currently undergoing a major refurbishment as part of London’s multiyear Crossrail development.

For its part, Thor has been aggressively moving into foreign markets amid a retail slump at home and has acquired assets in London, Paris and Madrid. It’s also trying to raise between $350 million and $400 million from retirement funds and international investors to plow into retail centers and mixed-use projects in Mexico.