Africa Israel reaches settlements with AG, condo residents

Developer must resolve defects and give up control of three buildings in FiDi, Brooklyn

15 Broad Street
From left: 15 Broad Street in the Financial District and Lev Leviev

Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel Investments reached settlements last week with both the New York Attorney General’s office and residents at three faltering, unfinished condominium buildings built by the developer.

The settlements call for Africa Israel to resolve defects at two Financial District condo buildings – the 386-unit 15 Broad Street and 409-unit 20 Pine Street – as well as one Downtown Brooklyn condo, a 79-unit building at 85 Adams Street.

The company must also give up control of the properties to their respective condominium boards and pay a $2 million penalty to the city for improperly taking property tax breaks on 15 Broad Street and an adjacent property, according to the New York Times.

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Despite hefty sellouts at the properties during the last decade – including at least a $380 million sellout at 15 Broad Street – Africa Israel’s condo projects suffered from construction defects ranging from faulty wiring to potentially toxic mold to an “abject lack of fireproofing,” according to residents.

Schneiderman said the settlement with his office serves as “a warning to property developers in New York State” who “will not be allowed to shirk their obligations to the purchasers and the public.”

Africa Israel is also required to complete work on the building adjacent to 15 Broad Street23 Wall Street, the century-old former headquarters of J.P. Morgan & Co. that has sat mostly vacant for eight years. The developer acquired both 15 Broad Street and 23 Wall Street from the investment bank for more than $100 million in 2003. [NYT]Rey Mashayekhi