Qatari royalty snags Flatiron retail building from Thor Equities

Sheikh pays $40M for home to Ala Yoga

Joseph J. Sitt from Thor Equities (Thor Equities)
Joseph J. Sitt from Thor Equities (Thor Equities)


A member of the Qatari royal family has purchased a Flatiron retail building from Thor Equities for $40 million.

Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani purchased the 17,600-square-foot-property at 164 Fifth Avenue from Joe Sitt’s firm at $2,272 per square foot, records show. The five-story building is fully leased to Alo Yoga and sits between 21st and 22nd streets. Alo Yoga has 15 years left on its lease.

The site is also home to Sutra, a new restaurant led by celebrity chef Matthew Kenney focusing on plant-based cuisine.

Thor announced the building’s sale two weeks ago in a release, but did not disclose who acquired it. A deed recorded Wednesday revealed Al Thani as the buyer.

Al Thani founded Ezdan Holdings, a diversified holding company in Qatar that focuses on real estate. He is also the main shareholder in the Qatar Islamic Insurance Company and has ties to a number of Islamic banks. In addition, according to Ezdan Holdings’ website, Al Thani is the founder of Qatar’s Medical Care Group, which owns Al Ahli Hospital, the largest private hospital in Qatar.

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Thor purchased the property for $23 million in 2014, property records show.

Thor is pivoting from its core retail real estate business to industrial. Last year, it started a new business, ThorLogis, which is dedicated to purchasing and developing logistics properties. Amazon recently took more than 300,000 square feet at Thor’s 280 Richards Street in Red Hook.

The company is facing major headwinds with its retail portfolio. Thor’s $105 million commercial mortgage-backed securities loan tied to the Charles Scribner’s Sons Building at 597 Fifth Avenue went into special servicing in October and now faces the possibility of foreclosure, according to Trepp. SL Green took control of 590 Fifth Avenue after Thor defaulted on its mezzanine debt in August.

Retail throughout Manhattan is struggling. Manhattan retail asking rents fell to their lowest point in nearly a decade in the third quarter.

Thor Equities and Ezdan Holdings did not immediately return a request for comment.