Thor plans overhaul of James Hotel

Part of the loan will go toward renovating the property, at 27 Grand Street

James Hotel at 27 Grand Street and Thor Equities' Joseph Sitt
James Hotel at 27 Grand Street and Thor Equities' Joseph Sitt (Credit: Google Maps)

Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities refinanced the James New York hotel in Soho, which it plans to revamp with the new financing.

The real estate firm landed a $50 million loan from Amherst Capital Management, sources told The Real Deal. The debt, a three-year loan with two one-year extensions, refinances Thor’s 2017 acquisition loan of $44 million from French bank Natixis, which was later assigned to Waterfall Asset Management.

About $20 million of the financing will be used to renovate rooms and common areas and overhaul the hotel’s food and beverage department. Thor also plans to bring on a new F&B operator, sources said.

Thor and Amherst did not immediately return requests for comment.

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JLL’s Kevin Davis and Jeff Davis secured the debt for Thor. The brokers declined to comment.

Thor and its partners, several high-net-worth investors, bought the 18-story, 114-room hotel in 2017 for $65.8 million.

The closing price marked a drop from the original agreed-upon $70 million. And the transaction became official after a lengthy legal battle with seller PGIM Real Estate, who sued Thor in 2016 over an alleged breach of the sale’s contract related to the hotel’s liquor licenses. The parties eventually settled.

The new refinanced loan comes as Thor faces trouble in its retail portfolio. The firm is in default of the $17 million loan backed by 1006 Madison Avenue. And special servicers recently took over two other Thor loans: a $30 million, CMBS loan behind 545 Madison Avenue and a $37 million mortgage for 115 Mercer Street. Thor co-owns the Mercer Street property with Premier Equities.