Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities faces foreclosure on Meatpacking property
Maverick Real Estate Partners, praised by Sitt last month, is now suing him for defaulting on loans
Sometimes a friend becomes a foe.
In a statement to The Real Deal last month, retail magnate Joe Sitt said he’d “only had good experiences” with Maverick Real Estate Partners, a prolific debt buyer whose funds Sitt’s Thor Equities had invested in and who he praised as “honest and upstanding.”
That may have changed this week.
Maverick is seeking to foreclose on a retail building owned by Thor Equities at 446 West 14th Street in the Meatpacking District, alleging Thor defaulted on a $25.5 million consolidated loan secured by the property.
A complaint filed in state court Monday shows that Maverick is also suing Sitt for personally guaranteeing the loans, which Maverick bought from Granite Point Mortgage Trust late last year.
Thor bought the Meatpacking property in March 2007 for $23.4 million, records show. Gucci opened a temporary pop-up at the building in 2021.
Maverick, led by David Aviram and Ted Martell, has acquired distressed loans secured by properties owned by some of the city’s biggest dealmakers, including Joe Chetrit, Steve Croman and Ben Ashkenazy.
Critics have accused the firm of being overly aggressive, particularly in how it classifies defaults in order to impose high interest rates that leave borrowers with little chance of refinancing. Maverick has maintained that it simply follows the terms of the loan documents on the debt it purchases and has no interest in owning or managing real estate.
Sitt’s Thor Equities is among the city’s largest retail landlords. Some of its holdings have faced hard times in recent years because of Covid and other challenges have hampered the retail sector.
Last year, Thor lost a 27,000-square-foot property at 700 Eighth Avenue in Midtown through foreclosure to a debt fund controlled by Albert Behler’s Paramount Group. In December, it avoided foreclosure on two retail condos at 115 Mercer Street in Soho by unloading them to a special servicer.
The firm has started to pivot to industrial real estate instead. Last year it acquired three industrial properties in New Jersey, including a 330,000-square-foot warehouse in Passaic for which it paid $52 million. Thor also launched Thor Digital, a division focusing on buying and developing data centers across Europe.
Thor Equities and an attorney for Maverick did not immediately return a request for comment.