A partnership between a Safra family-controlled entity and Sitt Asset Management purchased 145 Spring Street, a Soho mixed-use building with ground-floor retail, for $26 million, according to property records filed with the city today. The 15,421-square-foot eight-story building, located between Wooster Street and West Broadway, was asking $34 million. The seller was Spanish retailer Custo Barcelona, which bought the property in 2009 for $18 million.
Safra, through an entity called JSRE Acquisitions, took a 70 percent tenancy-in-common interest in the property, while Sitt Asset took a 30 percent interest. A tenancy-in-common interest allows two or more parties to possess the property simultaneously. A source familiar with the transaction, however, said that Safra was acting as a lender and a preferred equity holder in the deal. No loan documents have yet hit public record.
A team led by David Barreto of Cast Iron Real Estate brokered the transaction. “It was about 10 months of serious negotiations with many people,” Barreto said, adding that heavy hitters such as Vornado Realty Trust and and Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities had expressed interest in the property.
French boutique Maje has a lease for the retail space until 2021, and is paying $540,000 in rent annually. There are six rental apartments above: five two-bedroom lofts and a three-bedroom duplex with outdoor space on the top floor.
Sitt Asset’s Ralph Sitt did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Safra’s Steve Montague and Carlos Bertaco, both signatories on the deal, couldn’t be reached. It wasn’t immediately clear if there was a broker on the deal.
Sitt Asset is an active player in the Soho retail market, and in January inked a $49 million contract for the retail condominium at 90 Prince Street, as TRD reported. The Safra family was involved in several big-ticket deals, most notably the purchase of a 40 percent stake in the GM Building along with Chinese real estate mogul Zhang Xin.
March 5, 2014
By: Hiten Samtani