A decade later, Senegal buys $25M worth of condos near UN

The bulk deal marks the end of unusual development at 227-235 East 44th Street

227-235 East 44th Street and Senegalese President Macky Sall (Credit: Google Maps; Sall by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
227-235 East 44th Street and Senegalese President Macky Sall (Credit: Google Maps; Sall by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The nation of Senegal just shelled out $25 million in a bulk condominium deal near the United Nations headquarters in Midtown East.

It’s a far more complicated deal than meets the eye.

Back in 2009, the West African nation picked up a vacant site at 227-235 East 44th Street for $23.9 million. It planned to partner with Glacier Global Partners to build a mixed-use office and condo tower on the site. But by 2013, things had taken a turn.

In a lawsuit that year, Glacier accused the country of going around their back to secure better financial terms with a different partner, GSR Concrete, controlled by Ron Yeffet.

In 2014, Senegal transferred a 50 percent interest in the lot to a limited liability company — East 44th Developers LLC — that was linked to yet another developer for $25 million. A plan was hatched to build a 22-story tower on the site. The agreement also stipulated that Senegal would buy back two of the condos once construction finished.

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The ownership of the LLC remains murky, but records show that Pride Builders was responsible for the project’s construction, which ended up topping out at 19 stories.

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According to the state attorney general’s records, the sponsors of the condominium are Adam Gordon, the owner of Pride; Isaac Yeffet, a former security chief for the Israeli foreign ministry who now runs a consultancy out of New Jersey; and Fodé Seck, Senegal’s former permanent representative to the United Nations.

The government bought the commercial unit, which spans over 10,000 square feet from the cellar through the second floor, for $13 million. It also bought one of the building’s two large residential components, which each contains multiple individual units, for $11.6 million. Senegal’s residential condo encompasses 15 rental units across five floors, according to the condominium’s offering plans.

The second residential condo block contains 62 rental apartments across 14 floors of the 19-story building, according to the offering plan. Public records show that the developer, East 44th Developers LLC, retains full interest in this portion of the building.

Cheikh Niang, the permanent representative of Senegal to the United Nations, is the signatory on documents for the condos. The deeds were signed on March 17 and the sales were recorded in late April.

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Senegal to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Pride Builders, Isaac Yeffet or GSR Concrete.

Write to Erin Hudson at ekh@therealdeal.com