Reubens acquire stake in Jeff Sutton’s 747 Madison Ave

British brothers continue to expand their presence in New York City

Jeff Sutton, David and Simon Reuben and 747 Madison Avenue

Jeff Sutton, David and Simon Reuben and 747 Madison Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)

Reuben Brothers is going bigger still on high-end New York City retail.

The British-based private equity firm, led by David and Simon Reuben, acquired a stake in 747 Madison Avenue through a joint venture with the property’s long-time owner, Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties, The Real Deal has learned.

The 11,0000-square-foot retail space is on the corner of Madison Avenue and East 65th Street and houses Versace and Alexander McQueen’s North American flagship stores. The price and size of the stake sold to the Reubens could not be determined.

Sutton, a Manhattan retail titan, bought the ground-floor retail space in 2011 with partners SL Green and Harel Insurance for $66 million. A year later he picked up a second-floor duplex for $2.6 million and merged them to create a high-ceiling storefront.

In 2013, Sutton bought out SL Green and Harel’s stake in a deal that valued the property at $160 million. That same year, French luxury retailer Givenchy inked a lease at the property and stayed until it was replaced by Versace last year.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

In 2019, Sutton refinanced the retail space, securing a three-year, $90 million refinancing package from JPMorgan Chase. The debt replaced a previous loan from Goldman Sachs.

Reuben Brothers has been on a buying spree since the onset of the pandemic. In New York City, the firm acquired the Surrey Hotel and the retail space at 609 Fifth Avenue. In Los Angeles, Reuben Brothers recently acquired Michael Rosenfeld’s $2.5 billion Century Plaza development through a foreclosure. 

Sutton has negotiated with the billionaire brothers before. The retail landlord attempted to strike a deal to have Reuben Brothers replace New York Life Insurance as the lender on his retail property at 717 Fifth Avenue last year, but the deal fell through.

The property is now facing foreclosure by New York Life Insurance. In a lawsuit, Sutton blames New York Life for his deal with Reuben Brothers falling apart.

Read more