New York-based Fortress Investment Group LLC has invested in Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue, one of South Florida’s iconic, high-end retail streets in a deal brokered by Franklin Street.
Fortress bought the 16,374-square-foot building at 259 Worth Ave. where Tiffany & Co. has a store for $20 million from Madden Family Associates Ltd.
Franklin Street senior vice president of investment sales Greg Matus in Plantation represented both buyer and seller.
Matus, who closed the deal Oct. 1, said it’s rare for a buyer to get the opportunity to invest on the highly prized street.
“People who own property on Worth Avenue are holding it for the long term,” he said. “Worth Avenue is comparable to Rodeo Drive or Michigan Avenue in Chicago. There’s not a lot of opportunity to invest directly on Worth, and rarely anything ever trades on the street.”
Fortress is a global investor that as of June 30 had $41.4 billion of assets under management in credit, real estate, private equity and permanent capital, according to its website. In South Florida, it owns Florida East Coast Industries LLC, the parent of Brightline, the passenger train connecting downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Its purchase of the 1950-built building on Worth Avenue breaks down to $1,221 per square foot.
The rare opportunity to invest on Worth Avenue “is really what drove this transaction,” Matus said.
The short retail strip saw at least one property trade last year. Palm Beach-based real estate investor the Frisbie Group LLC through an affiliate bought the office and retail property at 125 Worth Ave. for $30.7 million from an affiliate of Crocker Partners LLC, according to the Palm Beach county property appraiser’s office and the state Division of Corporations.
Tiffany & Co., which has a long-term lease, pays the highest rent on Worth Avenue, according to Matus. He declined to disclose the lease value.
The only other tenant in the building is M Fine Arts Galerie, and there’s one vacant space.
Franklin Street will continue working with this asset. Specifically, investor client accounts senior vice president Lisa Jesmer in Miami will manage the property.