Prominent real estate developer Africa-Israel USA (AFI-USA) announces the sale of the retail condominium of the historic Times Square Building for $296 million to Kushner Companies. AFI-USA, which co-owns the approximately 250, 000 square feet of retail with Five Mile Capital Partners, purchased the entire 16-story, 767, 000-square-foot property – the former headquarters of the New York Times Company – in June 2007 for $530 million total.
The retail portion comprises the first three floors and portions of the fourth floor, cellars and sub-cellars of the building with frontage on West 43rd and West 44th streets.
“We are proud to have transformed this immensely historic building by doubling the retail space and giving it new life in the already lively Times Square district, ” said Chagit Sofiev-Leviev, CEO of AFI-USA. “The change undergone here is amazing and we know that Kushner Companies has the vision to continue the success at this asset.”
Sofiev-Leviev also heads the eponymous Leviev Group USA founded by legendary diamond magnate Lev Leviev. Leviev Group USA holds and manages various diamond and jewelry companies based in the US, including LLD Diamonds USA, one of the world’s largest diamonds manufactures and distributers.
The Times Square Building, located at 229 West 43rd Street, housed The New York Times when the property was built in 1913 until the building was sold in 2004. It is recognized as a New York City landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Marquee tenants at the Times Square Building include Discovery Times Square Exhibition, Bowlmor Times Square, Guitar Center and Haru Sushi.
This was a milestone transaction for AFI led by Chagit Sofiev-Leviev (CEO) and Damien M. Stein (COO). Helen Hwang formerly of Cushman & Wakefield represented AFI-USA while CBRE represented Kushner Companies. The seller’s legal team was comprised of Doug Heitner, Sara Saylor and Tyler Vinal of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP.