Africa Israel taps owner’s daughter to head troubled U.S. arm

August 28, 2013 10:57AM

The daughter of billionaire Lev Leviev is heading up the troubled U.S. operations of Africa Israel, her father’s real estate investment firm.

Chagit Sofiev-Leviev, a former chief financial officer at the Memorand Group, will replace Tamir Kazaz as CEO, the company announced yesterday.

Africa Israel, based in Yahud, Israel, took a severe hit in the U.S. during the recession. It paid $525 million for the former New York Times headquarters at 229 West 43rd Street in 2007, then sold the 750,000-square-foot office space for $160 million. The 250,000-square-foot basestill belongs to Africa Israel. Sofiev-Leviev already is negotiating new leases for remaining retail space there, Crain’s reported, citing a news release.

Also, in 2007, Africa Israel acquired the Clock Tower at One Madison Avenue for $200 million, aiming for a hotel conversion. It then sold it at a loss in 2011 – for $165 million. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer