The Real Deal New York

Heiberger, Sitt reach settlement in Town legal battle

Deal provides for both execs to serve as active chairmen of the company
By Katherine Clarke | March 04, 2014 09:07PM

Andrew Heiberger and Joseph Sitt, Town Residential’s top guns, have reached a settlement in their legal battle, bringing an end to an ugly — and public — bust-up between the two real estate executives.

Heiberger announced the settlement in an email sent to Town employees this evening. In the message, he apologized to brokers for the public battle that has plagued the firm since January.

“We know how difficult these last weeks have been for all of you, and we are deeply sorry,” he said. “We recognize we have a great deal to do to earn back your trust, and repay you for this terrible inconvenience, but we are committed to doing so, no matter how long it takes.”

In the next few weeks, he and Sitt will be making a series of office visits and hosting small gatherings with brokers “to discuss Town 2014 and beyond,” he said in the email.

The duo are also planning to dine tonight at Nobu with 30 or 40 of the firm’s staff and clients to celebrate, sources said.

The settlement provides that both Sitt and Heiberger will become active chairmen at the company, sources said. It was not clear if Heiberger would be reinstated as CEO.

Lisa Heiberger, Heiberger’s sister, and Jacqueline Pestana, his executive assistant, have been reinstated effective immediately, he said.

One broker at Town predicted that the news would be extremely well received within the ranks of brokers and staff at Town.

“I think everyone is going to be really happy,” the broker said. “Stability is an important thing. People want to know that they’re in good hands.”

The dispute between the two Town owners began in January, when Sitt refused to renew Heiberger’s contract as CEO. Sitt claimed that Heiberger had failed to meet the financial targets the two agreed to when Thor first invested in 2011. Sitt also claimed he had not seen any return on his investment to date.

Neither parties responded to request for comment on the settlement.