Michael Fascitelli is Joseph Sitt’s partner on the purchase of 71 sponsor units at the Apthorp on the Upper West Side, sources told The Real Deal.
The New York Post reported earlier this month that Sitt’s Thor Equities was buying the condominium units for $120 million, or $810 per square foot, but Fascitelli‘s involvement through his firm Imperial Companies was not revealed at the time.
The partners plan to first sell 10 vacant units, which were formerly operated as market-rate rentals. Then, as tenants move out of the 61 rent-stabilized units, the firms will sell those units as condos, too.
The Apthorp has an unusual past. The landmarked 12-story property at 390 West End Avenue was constructed in 1908 as rentals. In 2007, Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel and Maurice Mann’s Mann Realty Associates acquired it for $26 million, with plans for a condo conversion.
Factors such as financing troubles, tenant opposition and subpar sales led the project to stall, however. New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman halted sales following a probe over misleading statements made by the developers. Lender AREA Property Partners, now known as Ares Management, pulled the building out of foreclosure in 2012, and condo sales resumed. Of the 160 total apartments, 71 are sponsor units that have been operated as rentals and remain unsold.
Condo sales so far have averaged $2,710 per square foot, according to StreetEasy data cited by the Post.
Thor’s residential arm – led by Alan Klein and Jonathan Fishman – and Imperial are expected to close on the units by mid-summer, sources said. There were no brokers on the deal, sources added.
After he stepped down as CEO of Vornado Realty Trust in 2013, Fascitelli went into a brief hibernation before partnering with fellow Vornado alum Eric Birnbaum to form Imperial in 2014. The firm is a co-developer of a 30-story, 225-unit rental tower at 509 West 38th Street, and was also scoping out a Williamsburg waterfront site at 470 Kent Avenue with 500,000 buildable square feet.
A representative for Thor declined to comment, while Imperial could not be immediately reached.