Town’s Andrew Heiberger looks to reassure his brokers

Co-owner Joseph Sitt has been blamed for starving brokerage of financial resources; firm accused of defaulting on another lease

New York /
May.May 31, 2016 07:30 AM

Town Residential founder and CEO Andrew Heiberger called the situation which led to a lawsuit against the brokerage by former president of sales Wendy Maitland “very unnecessary and unfortunate.”

In a company-wide email Wednesday, Heiberger said that for several weeks, he’d been “working in front and behind the scenes to broker peace” between Maitland and Joseph Sitt, Town’s co-chair and capital partner.

“My efforts, for the time being, have failed,” Heiberger wrote. “I remain hopeful that cooler heads prevail between the parties through their attorneys.”

Maitland sued last week, accusing Sitt, head of Thor Equities, of deliberately starving Town of funds and failing to pay rent for the company’s office spaces. Sitt’s actions, she said, hurt the brokerage’s business and diluted the firm’s value.

In his email, Heiberger described Maitland as “a pillar of strength and integrity for the company since its inception.” He added he would “personally work with all parties to see if this damage can be repaired.”

He also addressed the company’s prospective merger with Los Angeles-based brokerage the Agency.

Joe Sitt and myself feel that a merger of our organizations could be very exciting and mutually beneficial and lucrative,” he said. “We both are working feverishly to explore its potential.”

Meanwhile, Sitt has allegedly failed to pay rent on some of the company’s sales offices.

A letter sent by the landlord of the company’s 25 West 39th Street office last month claims the firm owes close to $300,000 in unpaid rent on its space there. While Thor actually owns the building, the landlord in this case is Evite, headed by Paul Pucino, which leased the space from a Thor-owned management company and then subleased it to Town.

“The issue on this former location has been settled to the satisfaction of all parties,” a Town spokesperson said. But, in a statement provided to another news outlet last week, an attorney for Town denied having missed rent payments on the offices.

Pucino did not respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, Heiberger told The Real Deal he’s confident in the future of Town.

“I feel badly because Town is doing really well and it seems like we are mixed up in some of Joe’s and Thor’s problems, as hard as that is to believe,” he said.

The unpaid rent claims aren’t the first brought against Town in recent months. In April, a unit of Virginia-based Belvedere Management filed a lawsuit in Housing Court against the firm, claiming it hadn’t paid rent for the first three months of the year.

Rival firms have already started approaching Town brokers. Michael Signet, who manages Douglas Elliman’s office at 774 Broadway, sent a recruitment email to a number of Town brokers last week, referencing “recent happenings” at the firm.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Thor Equities' Joseph Sitt (Joseph Sitt, Getty)
Thor completes hat trick of NJ industrial acquisitions
Thor completes hat trick of NJ industrial acquisitions
9/11 Tribute Museum co-founder Jennifer Adams-Webb and 92 Greenwich Street (Getty Images, 9/11 Tribute Museum)
Lower Manhattan’s 9/11 Tribute Museum shuts doors
Lower Manhattan’s 9/11 Tribute Museum shuts doors
212 Fifth Avenue, Thor's Joseph Sitt and Madison Equities CEO Robert Gladstone (Google Maps, Thor, Studio Scrivo)
Thor sues insurer over Bob Gladstone’s alleged theft from 212 Fifth
Thor sues insurer over Bob Gladstone’s alleged theft from 212 Fifth
Thor Equities’ Joe Sitt with 60 East 66th Street (Thor Equities Group, Leslie J. Garfield & Co)
Thor Equities still trying to sell Lenox Hill townhouse after 10 years
Thor Equities still trying to sell Lenox Hill townhouse after 10 years
From left: Bert H. Dweck and Joe Sitt with 790 Madison Avenue (
Joe Sitt, Bert Dweck settle Madison Ave dispute with fashion house
Joe Sitt, Bert Dweck settle Madison Ave dispute with fashion house
790 Madison Avenue, Thor Equities CEO Joe Sitt and Bert Dweck (Google Maps, Thor and Premier Equities)
Fashion house: After 2 years and 2 lawsuits, Sitt and Dweck still haven’t paid
Fashion house: After 2 years and 2 lawsuits, Sitt and Dweck still haven’t paid
Elad Group's Isaac Tshuva and1299 Third Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)
Elad picks up shovel-ready UES development site
Elad picks up shovel-ready UES development site
Thor Equities' Joe Sitt and the retail condo at the base of 700 8th Avenue (Thor Equities, Google Maps)
Joe Sitt loses West Side retail space to foreclosure
Joe Sitt loses West Side retail space to foreclosure
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...