Thor Equities sues to evict Stefano Ricci from Miami Design District

NY-based landlord alleges retailer owes $133,000 in rent

Stefano Ricci, Joe Sitt and 118-120 Northeast 39th Street (Getty, Thor, Google Maps)
Stefano Ricci, Joe Sitt and 118-120 Northeast 39th Street (Getty, Thor, Google Maps)

Thor Equities is seeking to evict luxury fashion retailer Stefano Ricci from its store in Miami’s Design District.

The New York-based real estate firm alleges the luxury retailer owes more than $133,000 in rent at 118-120 Northeast 39th Street, according to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court last week. Stefano Ricci’s lawyers fired back, filing a summons against Thor Equities for $11.6 million in New York Supreme Court on Aug. 25.

The Italian high fashion retailer began a 10-year lease at the Miami property in August 2015. Rents started at $100,000 per month and went up to $130,477 in year 10, according to the lawsuit.

Thor served Stefano Ricci with a notice of default in June after the tenant failed to pay its June rent, according to the landlord’s lawsuit.

Thor purchased the 3,702-square-foot property in April 2014 for $9.5 million, records show.

Stefano Ricci’s attorneys Adam Love and Cabot Marks of the New York law firm Marks DiPalermo did not immediately return a request for comment. A representative for Thor Equities did not return a request for comment.

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After making a big splash in Miami 2013 and 2014,Thor sold most of its properties in the Design District a few years ago. In February 2016, Thor unloaded eight sites totaling nearly two blocks to RedSky Capital and JZ Capital Partners for $128 million. A month prior Thor sold four others to the same pair for $60 million.

Redsky and JZ recently sought to sell their entire Design District portfolio. And JZ said its Miami portfolio is now worthless as the losses have wiped away the equity in the assets, according to the company’s annual report.

A number of lawsuits have been filed by retail landlords against South Florida tenants over unpaid rent since the coronavirus pandemic began. Last week the owner of the Bal Harbour Shops filed an eviction lawsuit against Saks Fifth Avenue in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. In downtown Miami, Bayside Marketplace’s owner is seeking to evict five tenants, including Hard Rock Cafe and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Thor has been in the news in recent months for its retail troubles. The company, led by Brooklyn product Joe Sitt, reportedly defaulted on a $25 million loan on its property 590 Fifth Avenue. Its landlord SL Green is seeking to foreclose.

Thor Equities is also seeking to evict tenants and is suing The Wing for late rent at its Bryant Park office. Sitt’s firm is demanding $270,000 in rent and other charges that the women-focused co-working company has allegedly failed to pay since March.