Thor closes on $30M purchase of Williamsburg dev site

Commission dispute had delayed deal for Salvation Army's 180 Bedford

Joe Sitt and a rendering of 180 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn
Joe Sitt and a rendering of 180 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn

Thor Equities closed on its long-stalled deal to buy the former home of the Salvation Army on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg for $30 million, the company told The Real Deal.

The developer finalized its purchase of 180 Bedford Avenue at North 7th Street, where it plans to build a 14,500-square-foot retail building. The new, two-story property will feature 4,000 square feet on each of the lower, ground and second levels as well as a 2,500-square-foot rooftop terrace.

“Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg is continuing to grow as a major retail destination, with new hotels and entertainment destinations attracting millions of visitors and locals alike to the area,” CEO Joe Sitt said in a statement.

Thor went into contract in spring 2015 to buy the property from the Salvation Army for $36 million, but the deal stalled as the brokerage MNS filed a lawsuit claiming both sides cut the firm out of a $720,000 commission on the deal, as TRD previously reported.

Sources speculated the price most likely fell to $30 million in negotiations because of the impending L train shutdown beginning in 2019. Thor declined to comment on the drop in price.

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MNS claimed that Midtown-based brokerage Sanchez Bodden Lerner reached out on behalf of Thor to MNS broker Israel Segal, who was marketing the property for the Salvation Army.

Thor allegedly agreed to pay MNS a 2 percent commission on the deal, but then secretly entered into contract without telling the brokerage, the lawsuit claimed.

MNS withdrew its lawsuit in May with prejudice, paving the way for the deal to go through.

Thor had been said to be marketing the retail space earlier this year at asking rents approaching $450 per square foot, a figure that seemed pricey even before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced plans for the train shutdown.