The Real Deal New York

20 Pine, after years of troubles, sells out

April 10, 2013 06:00PM

After years of lawsuits and sluggish sales, the luxury condominium conversion 20 Pine has sold out, according to a release from developer Africa Israel USA.

The 409-unit tower, formerly the headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank in the Financial District, was emblematic of the glitzy condo projects that took hold of New York City in the mid-2000s real estate boom. Developed in 2006 by Shaya Boymelgreen and Africa Isreal, the conversion was marketed by broker Michael Shvo and featured interiors designed by Armani Casa.

However, in June 2009, lenders sued Boymelgreen, alleging he defaulted on a $3.2 million loan. That was shortly after Africa Israel took control of the property, amidst concerns from homeowners about the development’s financial stability and stalled construction.

In 2011, the 20 Pine Homeowners Association filed a $120 million lawsuit against Africa Israel and Boymelgreen, alleging they failed to disclose $5.6 million in defects, among other claims. A judge dismissed most of the claims, but after changing lawyers, the homeowners association filed a new $20 million dollar lawsuit.

Boymelgreen and Tamir Kazaz, president of Africa Israel, agreed to pay $144,000 in fines to the state and allow prospective buyers to rescind their contracts in May 2012, after the New York Attorney General’s office began investigating the issue.

The 38-story Building Features A Terrace, fitness center, Turkish steam bath, library, private subway entrance and a golf simulator.

“It really set the bar by enabling people who worked downtown to live downtown in a very luxurious way,” Kazaz said in the release. — Evan Bleier