Catsimatidis’ mayoral rival was once his buyer and borrower

July 23, 2013 01:30PM

The real estate link between George McDonald and John Catsimatidis, two New York City mayoral candidates, is one of creditor and debtor, the New York Times reported.

Catsimatidis entered into an arrangement for McDonald to buy a four-story apartment building on the Upper East Side in 1989, in which McDonald could purchase the home with a mortgage paid off to Catsimatidis himself, at an interest rate that reached 11 percent.

The value of the house, a modest walk-up, was just north of $1 million at the time. Catsimatidis, who owns the supermarket chain Red Apple Group along with 30 properties in the four boroughs, bought the property for about $300,000 in 1983, he told the Times.

In a recent debate between the two Republican candidates, McDonald semi-seriously accused his opponent of arranging a Mafia-esque hit on him. Catsimatidis, asked about the exchange in a later interview with a Greek-language television station, joked that McDonald might have “had a few drinks” before the debate.

“I’ve known him for 30 years,” he said of McDonald. “I sold him his house, and when he didn’t have money to pay for it, I gave him a little more time to pay.”

McDonald continues to live in the house at 232 East 84th Street, which also serves as the office of his Doe Fund foundation. McDonald took out his own financing in 1998, which though the mortgage it not yet paid off, allowed Catsimatidis to cash out, according to the Times. [NYT]Julie Strickland