Filed under: Real Estate Developments
The other day I wrote about the troubles facing diamond billionaire and property investor Lev Leviev. But don't count the Israeli billionaire out yet. His Africa-Israel company has announced new plans for the former New York Times Building on West 43rd Street in New York City. Leviev bought the building in 2007 for the ridiculous price of $525 million and then announced he would be turning it into high-price office building spending $170 million in the process. But then the commercial market dipped and offices were unoccupied.
Now, as the NY Times reports, Leviev's latest plan is to take that 15-story building and turn it into a consumer palace with retail space that includes restaurants, shops, a bowling alley and nightclub. That would be topped by a high-end hotel and crowned by penthouse condos. The NY Times' Charles Bagli questions whether or not this plan will be any more successful than the last one given New York City's lackluster tourism and real estate markets. But Leviev is by nature a gambler and risk taker and selling condos and hotel space is a bit akin to selling diamonds, it's all about the dream and perceived value. And what better place for dreams than Times Square?