Vornado walks away from Fifth Avenue property

Topshop closed its store at 608 Fifth Avenue last year

TRD New York /
Jun.June 01, 2020 05:23 PM
Vornado chairman Steve Roth and 608 Fifth Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)

Vornado chairman Steve Roth and 608 Fifth Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)

After the bankrupt retailer Topshop shuttered its Fifth Avenue flagship last year, Vornado Realty Trust has walked away from the property.

The real estate investment trust turned over control of the property at 608 Fifth Avenue late last month to the Korein family, which owns the ground under the building, sources told The Real Deal.

A spokesperson from Vornado did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but company president Michael Franco said on the REIT’s October earnings call that they were planning to walk away from the lease.

“This ground lease had only 14 years left on it,” he said. “It was not economic for us to hold on to.”

A representative for the Korein family could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Koreins have owned the property at 608 Fifth Avenue since the 1960s, property records show. The building, which sits on the corner of 49th Street near Rockefeller Center, spans 144,00 square feet, including 40,000 square feet of retail.

The family granted control of the property to Aby Rosen’s RFR Holdings in the late 1990s through a ground lease. But RFR was forced to hand over the keys in 2013. It sold its lease to, Vornado which then negotiated a new ground lease.

Rosen also had a ground lease with the Koreins at the Lever House at 390 Park Avenue — which he just ceded control of to Waterman Interests and Brookfield Property Partners. Rosen sold his lease to the new partners and still maintains an interest in the property.

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229.


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