Joe Sitt’s Thor pays $800M for massive rental portfolio

Deal with Caiola family positions retail tycoon as major resi landlord

From left: Joseph Sitt, Chelsea Court at 250 West 19th Street (Credit: CityRealty) and Jonathan Fishman
From left: Joseph Sitt, Chelsea Court at 250 West 19th Street (Credit: CityRealty) and Jonathan Fishman

UPDATED, 4:18 p.m., Jan. 5: Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities Residential is in contract for the purchase of the Caiola family’s entire apartment building portfolio for nearly $800 million, The Real Deal has learned. The mammoth deal for Caiola’s 800,000-square-foot rental portfolio is the biggest yet for Thor’s nascent residential arm and positions the firm as a major apartment landlord with more than a billion dollars in holdings.

The portfolio, which took the family patriarch Benny Caiola a lifetime to acquire, includes 25 elevator buildings in neighborhoods such as the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side and Midtown.  A 200-unit Chelsea rental building at 250 West 19th Street is the pick of the litter, sources familiar with the transaction told TRD. The sources added that the deal was the biggest-ever trade of an elevator-building portfolio in Manhattan, but that claim could not be independently verified.

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Representatives for Thor and Caiola couldn’t be reached for comment. No brokers are believed to be involved in the deal.

Thor, the city’s most aggressive retail player, started the firm’s residential arm in October with Stonehenge Partners alums Alan Klein and Jonathan Fishman. Last month, it paid $181 million for a 241-unit rental property at 30 Park Avenue in Murray Hill, as TRD reported.  Its other residential bets include an $85 million deal on Riverside Drive and a $37.4 million deal for the Upper West Side’s 840 West End Avenue.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified two buildings in the portfolio and the status of the deal.