The Real Deal New York

Sitt’s Thor pays Baruch Singer $22M for Harlem rental

Seven-story building at 98 Morningside Avenue has 48 apartments

March 18, 2015 08:00AM
By Hiten Samtani

From left: Alan Klein, Joseph Sitt, 98 Morningside Avenue and Steven Vegh

From left: Alan Klein, Joseph Sitt, 98 Morningside Avenue and Steven Vegh

Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities Residential just closed on 98 Morningside Avenue, a 48-unit rental building on the corner of West 123rd Street. Thor paid $21.6 million, or about $328 per square foot, for the 65,800-square-foot, seven-story property.

“Any time you can buy a corner elevator building in the heart of West Harlem for less than the price of land, that’s an amazing opportunity,” said Alan Klein, who runs Thor’s residential division with fellow Stonehenge Partners alum Jonathan Fishman. Thor intends to continue to operate the building as a rental property, and Klein predicted that Columbia University’s $7 billion Manhattanville expansion would boost the appeal of West Harlem.

The seller was landlord Baruch Singer, who described the building as a “great piece of property.” Singer bought the building in 1999 along with an identical property at 92 Morningside Avenue. He sold 92 Morningside in 2013 for $18 million to Renaissance Realty Group, which is doing high-end rentals there. That same year, Singer sold a massive 84-building Upper Manhattan portfolio to Rainbow Estates Group for more than $300 million, as TRD reported.

Westwood Realty Associates’ Steven Vegh was the sole broker on the 98 Morningside transaction. He could not be reached for comment by press time.

Thor has emerged as a major residential investor in Manhattan, with more than $1.3 billion worth of acquisitions since it launched its residential division in October, according to a source familiar with the company. Sitt’s firm is in contract to buy 17 West 125th Street from Treetop Development for $30.6 million and is in contract to buy an 800,000-square-foot rental portfolio from the Caiola family for nearly $800 million, as TRD reported.

  • Hmmmm

    Every rent stabilized building in West Harlem trades for less than the land. That’s a ridiculous statement.

  • dirty money

    talk about dirty money – investors with Thor will barely make 3% annually with the prices they are paying… once interest rates rise and values fall – good luck!!!!

    • Sam

      He doesn’t care. Takes Acquistion and management fee. The more he buys richer he gets. He can’t lose.

      • moneytalks

        Thor is looking at $10 Billion in Acquisition in Europe. It’s just the beginning.

        • Teddy66

          Whattt?? I heard he was looking to raise some institutional dough to buy in Europe, but 10b is insane.

          Is there that much money out there that will agree to buy deals @ 2 caps?

    • TwoPieceAndBiscuit

      been saying interest rates were going to rise 10 years ago. they’ve only gone down.

  • standy

    Thor is buyiong all of upper manhattan – Watch out- Sitt destroys neighborhoods

  • RE Watchdog

    Vegh delivers again, good job, great guy..

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