Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Will Joe Sitt Or Flip?

photo by wallyg (Flickr.com)

According to Thor Equities’ Joe Sitt's track record for flipping properties, Coney Island may be in jeopardy of being bought by another developer with the same intentions, or becoming a desolate oasis for many years. Thor has recently come under fire from the city and the community for threatening to flatten and blight Coney Island if they did not get the rezoning they demand. Now there are concerns that Thor and Sitt will pick up and sell.

The New York Post reports:

Several officials told The Post they're concerned that Joseph Sitt's next
selling spree could involve the massive assemblage of beachfront land his Thor Equities has bought up in Coney Island - especially if City Hall doesn't allow his planned $2 billion entertainment complex to include luxury housing.

"The guy has a track record of flipping land for big bucks," said one source close to the project. "He's done it already in Coney Island and other Brooklyn projects like [Downtown Brooklyn's] Albee Square Mall, and who's to say he won't play the city again?"

About five years ago Sitt bought the Albee Square Mall on Fulton Street in Brooklyn for $24 million. Then after pumping $10 million dollars in excitement about revamping the mall with a glamorous makeover and renaming it The Gallery at Fulton Street - he turned around, flipped the property and sold it for a hefty profit of $125 million. Never going through with the grand plans they proposed. This, of course, came after the city rezoned to allow for larger development.

In Coney Island, Sitt last year sold one of the properties he bought for $90 million - a 168,000-square-foot tract known as the Washington Bath House site - after the city said it would allow residential development there. A
spokesman for Thor Equities, Lee Silberstein, insisted that the company isn't planning to back out of Coney Island.

It would seem unreasonable to flip the property they bought in Coney Island without the rezoning - therefore the lack of demanding a high resale price for it after the city has made clear that they are standing firm on the importance of the amusement district.

Even though the city has stated that they are for some rezoning, there yet has to be outlined the specific area of the amusement district Thor wants rezoned. As well as the release of specific plans, designs, or conceptions for the residential components which as they claim are the most integral part of their project.

Cyclone Swirls Around Coney Island Builder [NY Post]
Is 'Flipper' Attacking Coney Island? [Curbed]

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