Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities eyeing $100M Fulton Market development site deal

Multiple towers with a combination of office, residential could rise on land

Thor Equities' Joe Sitt with vacant lot at Peoria Street and Wayman Street
Thor Equities' Joe Sitt with vacant lot at Peoria Street and Wayman Street (Thor Equities, Google Maps, Getty)

Thor Equities is ready to start swinging hammers again in Chicago’s Fulton Market.

The New York-based firm led by chairman Joe Sitt is considering paying more than $100 million to Nealey Foods for the largest remaining development site in the Windy City’s hottest commercial real estate submarket, CoStar News reported, citing people familiar with the deal.

If Thor goes through with a purchase for the 2.7-acre site along Peoria and Wayman Streets just south of Metra train tracks, the developer could build multiple towers holding a total of 1.3 million square feet under current zoning. It could also ask the city for additional building capacity on the site, which is likely to be turned into a combination of both office space and residential buildings.

Thor’s emergence as a possible buyer of the site replaces Sterling Bay as its rumored suitor. The Chicago-based development giant was reported to be in talks to buy the property from Chicago-based Nealey last year, and have since fallen apart, the outlet reported.

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Fulton Market snagged the top spot in terms of the the fastest-growing urban office markets during a recent five-year period, by doubling its supply of space annually on average, CoStar reported based on its recent analysis. Large hotels, such as Jeff Shapack’s Soho House at 113 North Green Street, brought an additional entertainment and lodging element to the popular Randolph Street restaurants in the area, and multifamily towers have since followed into Fulton Market, springing up in and around the neighborhood.

Related Midwest is set to open a 495-foot residential tower, The Row Fulton Market, this summer at 164 North Peoria, and even bigger projects are in the works, such as Related Midwest’s office tower at 725 West Randolph slated to stretch 700 feet. Miami-based Crescent Heights is getting in on the action, as well, with its proposal for a 600-foot-tall apartment tower at 420 North May Street in the area.

The vacant development site’s seller, Nealey, is one of a plethora of food wholesalers and meatpacking firms to have cashed in on Fulton Market’s rising property values amid its redevelopment into a commercial real estate hub. It previously sold two smaller sites in the 900 block of West Fulton in separate deals for more than $32 million combined in 2019.

The site is just west of Thor’s 19-story, 470,000-square-foot office highrise at 800 West Fulton Street, where Deere & Co., the maker of John Deere tractors, leases 38,000 square feet, while its anchor tenant is Aspen Dental across about 200,000 square feet. Colliers International brokers Mike Senner and Vern Schultz are representing Nealey in its sale.

Read more

Thor Equities' Joseph Sitt and Maverick’s David Aviram with 446 West 14th Street (Thor Equities, LinkedIn, Google Maps, Getty)
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