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NEW YORK CITY-The original home of the Lord & Taylor Dry Goods Store has sold to a Spanish investor in an all-cash deal worth $24.6 million, GlobeSt.com has exclusively learned. The 14,336-square-foot, five-story Flatiron District property at 901 Broadway traded for $1,716 per square foot at a 5.6% cap rate, according to Massey Knakal Realty Services, which arranged the sale.

Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal, tells GlobeSt.com that the seller, Thor Equities, had acquired the 142-year-old, landmarked 901 Broadway in October 2006 for $17.4 million and subsequently made extensive renovations. Thor also bought out two rent-stabilized tenants on the property’s top floor and procured the 7,000-square-foot ground-floor retail tenant, Miss Sixty, at $313 per square foot, Knakal says.

Floors two through four are occupied by a gallery tenant that originally signed on for only the second floor at $70 per square foot but later added two more floors at $62 per square foot. “A lot of the hard work that Thor did helped create the value in that property,” says Knakal.

Not only does the 901 Broadway sale represent “a relatively decent-sized transaction” in the current market, Knakal says. “More importantly, it’s very indicative of a trend that we’ve been seeing over the past several months, where the number of foreign-based high net worth individuals looking to buy New York City real estate has increased substantially.”

The current trend, says Knakal, is “very reminiscent of what the market was like in the mid-1980s. Between 1985 and 1987, we were constantly meeting with high net worth individuals from overseas. This is the same kind of influx.”

While foreign investors typically are attracted to New York City properties year in, year out, “this is a particularly big increase,” says Knakal. “And that demand is coming from all over the globe.”

Representing Thor in this transaction, which closed last Thursday, were Knakal, vice chairman John Ciraulo and director of sales Craig Waggner. The same Massey Knakal team had sold 901 Broadway to Thor in 2006, when they represented the Sakhai family.

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