Yair Levy

YL Real Estate

Yair Levy is a real estate developer in New York. 

After emigrating to the US from Israel, he and his brother opened a clothing company. This allowed Levy to buy his first real estate asset, a building on the corner of 58th Street and Lexington. In the early 1990s he sold the clothing business to focus full-time on real estate.

He began acquiring properties for redevelopment in 1997. His first acquisition as a developer was a distressed retail property in the Financial District. Five years later, he sold the asset for $20 million and launched YL Real Estate Developers, which went on to own nearly 2.5 million square feet of commercial and residential real estate throughout Manhattan. 

Prior to the Great Recession, Levy successfully completed several high-profile projects and transactions in Manhattan, including 620 Sixth Avenue, The Croft Building at 71 Nassau Street and a near full block front assemblage at 310 Third Avenue.

In 2005 Levy became a partner in the project to convert The Sheffield into condos, an infamously contentious redevelopment. After a series of sometimes violent disagreements and lawsuits between the partners, as well as lawsuits from tenants, in 2009 the building sold at a foreclosure auction to Fortress Investment Group. 

In 2010 in a civil lawsuit Levy was accused by then-New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of misappropriating funds from a rental-to-condo conversion at 225 Rector Street. After Levy defaulted on the loan he took to acquire the property, Cuomo issued a judgement against him for deceiving buyers and tenants by allegedly drawing from the condo’s reserve fund for personal gain. Due to this, the state attorney general banned Levy from selling real estate securities in New York, which includes condominiums and co-ops. Levy maintained that any money taken out of the reserve fund was invested back into the building to complete construction of the project as the financial markets collapsed during the recession and construction financing dried up.

Currently, Levy serves as an advisor to New York-based Time Century Holdings LLC, a company controlled by a family trust. He is advising on the renovation of the Time Century Jewelry Center in downtown Miami, home to the second largest Jewelry District in the United States. 

Levy is married to Sosana Levy, and has two daughters, Raphael and Galit.