The Real Deal New York

Sitt tried to flip 432 Park pad — and Macklowe flipped out: suit

Wendy Maitland's legal battle vs. Town mentions spat between real estate bigwigs

June 21, 2016 03:05PM
By Katherine Clarke

432 Park Avenue with Harry Macklowe and Joseph Sitt (right)

From left: Joseph Sitt, Harry Macklowe and 432 Park Avenue

Thor Equities’ Joseph Sitt has a reputation for being an astute flipper of commercial properties. But when he allegedly tried the maneuver at an apartment he owns at 432 Park Avenue, it didn’t turn out so well, as suggested by new papers filed in relation to a May lawsuit.

The allegations emerged in a lawsuit filed last month by Wendy Maitland against her former firm Town Residential, the residential brokerage co-owned by Sitt. Maitland suggested in the suit that Sitt’s attempted maneuver at 432 Park may have cost Town a major assignment to market One Wall Street, which is owned by 432 Park’s co-developer Macklowe Properties.

“I feel like a cop on the beat with Joe, always having to watch out for what he’s going to try next to get around the rules,” Maitland alleges she was told by one Macklowe Properties employee.

Sitt entered contract to buy a unit on the 63rd floor of 432 Park for under $20 million, scoring the special price through a friends and family deal, sources said. He then tapped Town to flip the unit for close to $25 million, according to Maitland’s suit.  If Sitt had reassigned his contract under the terms of the friends and family deal he signed, he would have to give Macklowe a cut of the profits, sources saidHowever, Sitt did not intend to honor this agreement, they said.

“Town’s instability, coupled with Joe Sitt and his legal team’s handling of his personal sale [of the unit] caused the loss in the competition to exclusively represent the marketing and sales of 1 Wall Street,” Maitland states in the suit.

The assignment for marketing One Wall Street was awarded to CORE earlier this month. 

A spokesperson for Town Residential called the allegations “baseless and without merit.” Representatives for Macklowe weren’t immediately available for comment.

Other notable buyers at the building include Bennett LeBow and Howard Lorber, co-chairmen of Douglas Elliman’s parent company Vector Group, Saudi Arabian retail magnate Fawaz Al Hokair and Qatari diplomat Nassir Abulaziz Al-Nasser.

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