Leviev faces Apthorp ultimatum

Building agent: Unless 15% of the Manhattan building's condos are sold by September, its redevelopment plan will be cancelled.

Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL; Pink Sheets:AFIVY), controlled by chairman Lev Leviev, is getting a headache from its 50% holding in the Apthorp building on West End Avenue in Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Last week, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate EVP Howard Margolis, who is responsible for the sale of condominiums in the building, said that this was a good time to buy, in view of the plunge in prices. He added, however, that unless 15% of the Apthorp's condos were sold by September, the redevelopment plan for the property would be cancelled, and the developers would have to wait one year before redepositing the plan. He made the comment to brokers taking a course at Touro College, which was reported by "Real Deal".

Two months ago, the New York press reported that prices at the Apthorp had fallen by a third. The average asking price for a renovated condo in the project is now $21,000 per square meter, down from $32,300 in June 2008.

The 12-storey historic Apthorp was built by William Waldorf Astor in 1908. It has 163 rental condominiums.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 26, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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