A luxury penthouse in Jerusalem's Mamilla project was recently sold for NIS 41 million. The penthouse was owned by Jewish billionaire Guma Aguiar, who vanished off the coast of Florida in 2012, and is now being sold by his widow, Jamie to a US businessman.
The penthouse, located on the fifth floor of a building at 8 Yitzhak Kariv Street, covers 650 square meters. It has 750 square meters of balconies, and overlooks David's Tower and the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Two apartments were combined into a penthouse apartment, which was sold together with its furniture and electrical equipment. The property also contains a number of parking spaces and storage rooms.
The deal is a significant one for the luxury housing market in Jerusalem, which has been in the doldrums in recent years, among other things due to the drop in the number of deals by foreign residents, who previously accounted for many luxury housing purchases in the capital. Advocate Gideon Koren represented the seller, Advocate Nira Azriel represented the buyer, and Ahituv Getz and Rinat Sylvester of the Hazon Properties real estate agency, which specializes in selling luxury housing in Jerusalem, brokered the deal for the seller. The agent for the buyer was Daniel Bouzaglo of Zimuki Real Estate.
Aguiar, who was one of the owners of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball club and the controlling shareholder in the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, made most of his money from the positions he held in US oil and gas drilling company Leor Energy, owned by Thomas Kaplan, his uncle. The company discovered a large gas reservoir in Texas, half of which was sold to public company Encana Corporation for $2.5 billion in late 2007. Aguiar moved with his family to the Yemin Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem in 2008, and acquired more than 20 properties in the city, including in the Old City, the Mamilla project, and Yemin Moshe.
Aguiar disappeared off the coast of Florida in 2012, when his boat was found abandoned at sea. Following his disappearance, his mother Ellen engaged in litigation over his property, eventually reaching an agreement on dividing it between them and Aguiar's sister, and filed a joint request to have Aguiar declared dead. A judge in a Florida court declared Aguiar legally dead in January 2015, although his body was never found.
Some of Aguiar's properties have already been sold. Among other things, a house in which Aguair lived was sold for NIS 12.5 million in 2014. The Hazon real estate brokerage is expected to put additional properties in the Old City and in Yemin Moshe up for sale in the coming weeks.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on October 23, 2017
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