Aby Rosen closes on sale of $86M retail co-op to Jeff Sutton

From left: Aby Rosen, 85 Fifth Avenue and Jeff Sutton
From left: Aby Rosen, 85 Fifth Avenue and Jeff Sutton

Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty has closed on the sale of an $86 million retail space on lower Fifth Avenue to Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties.

The deal for the nearly 13,000-square-foot co-op unit at 85 Fifth Avenue, home to the women’s clothing shop Anthropologie, closed Friday, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s Bob Knakal, who handled the deal.

“The location of this property was exceptional and resulted in investor interest from all over the world,” Knakal said. “Retail space is one of the hottest sectors in town today and this transaction substantiated this trend.”

RFR declined to comment.

Located at the corner of 16th Street just a block off Union Square Park, the property is in a neighborhood that has seen retail rents rise along with a rise in foot traffic drawn in by an influx of office workers in the midtown south market and new residential projects.

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Median asking rents on Fifth Avenue climbed 33 percent on the year to $400 per square foot, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s fall retail report. That was the second largest gain in Manhattan behind East 57th and Bleecker streets.

Crain’s first reported the deal, though the seller was identified only as a company named Caguax.

Anthropologie, the co-op’s sole occupant, is set to occupy the space through 2021. The co-op unit has 6,406 square feet on the ground floor with another 6,540 square feet of sellable space below ground.

Sutton recently agreed to sell the upper floors at the Crown Building, which he bought late last year in a blockbuster deal for $1.8 million, to luxury residential developer Michael Shvo.

Rosen is at work on a number of high-profile projects, including the Norman Foster-designed condominium tower at 100 East 53rd Street. He also recently began making over the graffiti-scarred mansion at 190 Bowery.