Lululemon in talks for one-year lease at Thor’s 597 Fifth Avenue

Sephora left the space in March

<em>597 Fifth Avenue (inset: Joseph Sitt)</em>
597 Fifth Avenue (inset: Joseph Sitt)

Lululemon Athletica is in talks to take 8,000 square feet at Thor Equities’ 597 Fifth Avenue.

The athletic apparel company is considering a one-year lease in Sephora’s old space, Bloomberg reported. Thor, which purchased the 12-story building in 2011 for $108.5 million, has struggled to fill the space since the makeup store left in March. A potential deal with Godiva recently fell through.

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Thor [TRDataCustom], which is led by Joseph Sitt, has quietly been shopping the building, along with 530 and 590 Fifth Avenue. Vacancies at the properties, however, could push Sitt toward defaulting on his loans, Crain’s reported in March.

Manhattan is in the middle of a retail slowdown as availability rates rise dramatically in some of the city’s busiest shopping centers. The availability rate on Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th streets, for example, hit 32.8 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield. During an event last month, developer Billy Macklowe didn’t mince words when describing the retail market: “I think retail is fucked, plain and simple,” he said. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel

(To view more retail leasing transactions completed by Thor Equities in Manhattan, click here)