Thor Equities has an extensive building portfolio on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, and it sees similar opportunities and potential on Montreal’s Sainte-Catherine Street.
“Thor focuses on properties in key urban locations worldwide, with a particular emphasis on buildings in high-density areas with heavily trafficked corridors, and we believe Sainte-Catherine is the perfect example of a vibrant retail street with tremendous opportunity going forward,” said Thor communications director Joshua Greenwald.
Thor has made recent purchases of properties owned by Gaby Bitton, the chief executive officer of Buffalo International Inc., which is behind the Buffalo David Bitton and i Jeans by Buffalo clothing brands that have made significant international inroads since the company was founded in Montreal in 1985.
New York City-based Thor closed on its acquisition of 1325 and 1327-1333 Sainte-Catherine for $26.5 million in late May. The property at 1325 Sainte-Catherine is a 2,600-square-foot Boutique TAG while 1327-1333 Sainte-Catherine is a mixed-use corner building with 11,860 square feet of retail space for ECCO, Cigares Vasco and Paris Café, and 18,550 square feet of office space on six levels.
Thor intends to reposition the ground-floor retail and create second storey retail in currently vacant office space.
Thor’s other Sainte-Catherine properties
Thor even more recently acquired 1391-1397 Sainte-Catherine from Bitton. The building on the corner of Bishop Street has approximately 23,800 square feet of retail and residential space over four levels, including 6,900 square feet of retail on the ground and lower levels.
“Thor hasn’t finalized its plans for this property yet,” said Greenwald.
Thor acquired its first Montreal property at 777 Sainte-Catherine last year. This historic building includes 20,000 square feet of retail space occupied by Banana Republic.
In addition to existing retailers near Thor’s Montreal properties — including an Apple store, an Ogilvy department store, Armani Exchange, BCBG Max Azria, Guess, Fossil and H&M — the company is excited by: the recently opened Aritzia flagship store; a planned Holt Renfrew-Ogilvy luxury superstore; a soon-to-open 30,000-square-foot Victoria’s Secret store that will be the brand’s second biggest in the world; and the launch of new high-end hotel and condominium developments in the area.
A 250,000-square-foot mixed-use luxury project under construction along Rue de la Montagne, and the City of Montreal’s plan to invest millions of dollars to enhance Sainte-Catherine with new pedestrian malls, free Wi-Fi and heated sidewalks are other reasons for Thor’s interest in the neighbourhood.
Other Thor properties
Greenwald said there are no other Montreal properties currently on Thor’s radar and, while there are no other Canadian cities on its list of desired locations on its website, the company would consider investing in Toronto and Vancouver.
“We are always seeking prime assets in premier locations worldwide.”
Thor was founded by president and chief executive officer Joseph J. Sitt. It’s a vertically integrated company involved with: transaction structuring and asset management; finance, legal and operation; property management; revenue generation through leasing, sales and marketing; and development and construction oversight.
Thor owns more than 160 properties totalling 20 million square feet and worth $10 billion U.S. around the world. Its signature properties include: 680 Madison Ave. and 693 Fifth Ave. in New York City; Palmer House Hilton in Chicago; The Phelan Building in San Francisco; 51-53 Blvd. Haussmann in Paris; and Burlington Arcade in London.