The real estate market in the US is still struggling to get out of the downturn but if you look at the recent data from New York, there is a clear indication that the rental market is doing much better as a result of improving job market. Israel based billionaire Lev Leviev’s U.S. real estate unit Africa Israel USA has in all probability closed a deal to sell 88 Leonard, a luxury apartment building in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood. There was no confirmation from either side Waterton Associates LLC, a Chicago-based investment firm that owns and operates more than 15,000 apartments nationwide is supposedly the buyer.
88 Leonard is a 352 Unit Tower was completed in 2007 and even the one bedroom apartments in the building boasts of amenities like an outdoor whirlpool and a billiards lounge. Tamir Kazaz, chief executive officer of the U.S. division of Tel Aviv-based Africa- Israel Investments Ltd., believes that it’s a good deal for both the seller and the buyer. He declined to name the buyer but did say that the buyers were sophisticated real estate investors with tremendous experience in management of rental apartments.
Waterton Associates Had first entered the New York market in December with downtown Brooklyn’s 271-unit Addison apartment complex. In March their co-founder, David Schwartz had confirmed that they would be bidding for 88 Leonard. Schwartz however declined to comment saying that the firm does not comment on transactions that have not been concluded. This deal is being seen as Africa Israel’s step to reduce its debt burden on its boom-time real estate acquisitions in the U.S. It is estimated that the deal will reduce their debt burden by as much as $156 million.