If the idea of constructing a big glass box at 516-520 Fifth Avenue (at 43rd Street) sounds familiar, that's because it is. Developers Aby Rosen and Hines had a plan to use air rights to put up a 54-story retail/hotel/residential building designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli back in 2008. Instead, RFR has agreed to sell the property to Thor Equities, and according to the Journal, Thor's plan is to tear down what stands on the site now and build a glassy retail base for a 350,000-square-foot building. Various hotel operators and residential developers are in talks with Thor regarding the other parts of the project. (Thor has also picked up 445 Fifth Avenue in the hope that high-end retailers will keep wanting to move further south down Fifth.)
Of course, there are a few factors that could hold up the project, including financing: Thor CEO Joseph Sitt would need about $250 million to get started. The rendering at right shows just the retail portion of the design.
· Fifth Avenue's New Anchor [WSJ]
· 516 Fifth Avenue coverage [Curbed]