Mortgage Observer

Blackstone Finances Thor Equities Riverside Drive Acquisition

120 Riverside Drive

A partnership between Thor Equities and global real estate investment firm GreenOak has received a $65 million loan from Blackstone Mortgage Trust for its purchase of two prewar rental buildings on the Upper West Side, a person familiar with the negotiations told Mortgage Observer on background.

The floating-rate loan for the two buildings at 120 and 125 Riverside Drive closed on March 11, the same day as the acquisition, and carries a term of up to five years, that person said. GreenOak provided additional equity to fund the $85 million purchase. Read More

Sales Beat

Purchase of Thor Equities’ 530 Bway Closes at $326M [Updated]

530 Broadway

A joint venture led by Jeff Sutton’s Wharton Properties has nabbed a three-building site at 530 Broadway from Joseph Sitt‘s Thor Equities for $326 million. The sale closed on March 6 and appeared in public records today.

The retail mogul bought the 11-story property to extend his dominance in Soho. It hit the market in February 2013 and Mr. Sitt agreed to sell it to the new owners that September.  Read More

Lease Beat

Icreon Tech Signs Scribner Building Sublease


Icreon Tech, an IT consultant and application developer, has signed an 8,000-square-foot sublease for the duplex penthouse at The Scribner Building at 597 Fifth Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The tenant will pay rent in the mid-$50s in a deal lasting approximately four years, according to data from CompStak. The sublandlord, Galtere, signed a lease for the space in 2010 and pays rent in the low-$50s per square foot.

Read More

The Lobby

Former Thor, RFR Exec Jumps to Handler


Handler Real Estate Organization has named Richard Farley executive vice president and chief operating officer of the firm’s brokerage division, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Farley will be charged with spearheading Handler’s third-party brokerage efforts, on which the firm has placed increased emphasis.

Read More


Come Fly with Me: The Economic Impact of NYC’s Airports


Last week, just ahead of the Thanksgiving travel rush, the Global Gateway Alliance, an advocate for airport infrastructure improvement chaired by real estate developer Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities, released an economic impact report on the New York metro area’s major airports: J.F.K., LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty. The findings were promising. Over the past decade, jobs created by the region’s airports increased by nearly 100 percent, with the three hubs collectively employing close to 500,000 jobs in the region.

“These numbers confirm what we’ve long know to be true: New York’s metropolitan airports are incredible economic drivers,” said Mr. Sitt. “When studies like this are released, it is clear to everyone the role the airports play in supporting the region economically.”

Below, The Commercial Observer lays out some of the key facts and figures from the report.

Read More

Law & Order

State Anticorruption Commission Slaps Three Top Developers With Subpoenas


Three of New York’s biggest real estate developers received subpoenas from a state commission investigating corruption and after information regarding controversial tax breaks.

The Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption sent the subpoenas to Extell Development Co., Silverstein Properties Inc. and Thor Equities. The 25-person commission is seeking emails and other records of dealings with lobbyists concerning the 421a program, which ostensibly slashes taxes on residential developments in unused or underused areas. Read More

Sales Beat

Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities Buys Barclays-Area Mixed-Use Development for $23 Million

Joe Sitt

Thor Equities has closed on the $23 million off-market purchase of Atlantic Gardens, a mixed-use development abutting the Barclays Center.

Atlantic Gardens consists of 24 rental units and nine retail spaces at 525-541 Atlantic Avenue between Third and Fourth Avenues. The seller, Bennat Berger of BCB Properties, bought the assets for $10.93 million just two years ago.  Read More

Cover Story

The Landlord’s Market: Midtown South’s Uphill Climb

Gas Odor Investigated In New York City

Midtown South is starting to look a little like Downtown North.

In the latest sign of the evolution of Manhattan’s former no-man’s land between Midtown and Downtown into the hottest office submarket in the U.S., Cushman & Wakefield last week noted a migration of financial firms into Midtown South and a corresponding overflow of technology and media firms into the Financial District over the past 10 years.

“We’ve never seen such an intertwining of the Midtown South market and Downtown,” Andrew Peretz, executive vice president at C&W, said in an interview. Read More