Rosen named president of Polar USA after Africa Israel exit

By David Jones | July 01, 2009 03:47PM

Former Africa Israel USA chief executive Rotem Rosen has been named president of Polar USA/HFZ Capital, The Real Deal has learned.

Polar is a unit of Israel-based Polar-ZSG Group, a partnership formed by real estate investors Ziel Feldman, Tamir Sapir and Giron Development & Building Ltd., to buy distressed real estate.

Rosen left Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel earlier this year amid increasing turmoil involving the Israeli billionaire’s global real estate holdings, which include the Apthorp, the controversial condominium conversion at 390 West End Avenue, and 20 Pine Street, a condo where Africa Israel wrested control from former partner Shaya Boymelgreen.  

Polar has invested in numerous real estate projects throughout the world, including Manhattan, according to investor presentations obtained by The Real Deal.  

The company is the developer of Sixty Beach, a boutique condo conversion at 60 Beach Street, in Tribeca. lists five units for sale in the building, ranging from $3.5 million for a 2,569-square-foot three-bedroom unit to $6.7 million for a 3,374-square-foot penthouse.  

Two other apartments are in contract, according to

The firm has also invested in the Heritage Marina Hotel in San Francisco, a solar farm in Bridgehampton and sites in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Polar said it had already exited Herald Towers, a 690-unit condo conversion at 50 West 34th Street, where it invested $2 million, and returned a 24 percent profit.

The company also exited 123 West 44th Street, a 110-unit residential building that it bought and refurbished for $57 million in 2005, and later sold for $82 million in January 2007.

In April, Business Week reported that Sapir, chairman of the Sapir Organization, had agreed to invest in FD Holdings Group, a firm led by Feldman, who co-founded New York-based hotel developer Property Markets Group in 1991, and is chairman and controlling shareholder in Polar.  

Rosen was able to confirm his new employment, but was not immediately available to comment further.