Successful international businesses, a partnership with Donald Trump, multiple luxury real estate developments – this is theexceptional legacy established by businessman Tevfik Arif.
Tevfik Arif is a Turkish-Kazakhstani businessman and entrepreneur whose lengthy career transcends international borders and extends across diverse market sectors.
Arif rose from humble beginnings in rural Kazakhstan where he was born to the heights of Manhattan’s prestigious luxury real estate market, achieving storied success that would elevate the profile of his family’s business. Bayrock Group, the company founded by Arif, was one of the principal developers behind the construction of Trump SoHo Tower.
Bayrock developed a working relationship with the Trump Organization, which operated under the leadership of current United States President, Donald Trump. Arif and Bayrock would leverage the Trump brand to add value and prestige to their luxury real estate development projects.
Tevfik Arif – The Foundations Of Success
Tevfik Arif was born TofikArifov in 1953. His Turkish parents were living at the time in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. He and his three brothers would all embark on their own paths to success.
After completing a degree in International Relations from the Moscow Trade and Economic Institute, Arif began working with the Soviet Union government Ministry of Commerce and Trade. He held numerous positions during his 17 years working within the government including as a chief economist and as the deputy head of the Ministry’s Hotel Management Department.
During the dissolution of the Soviet Union, numerous opportunities arose within the private sector. Arif, with his well-honed business skills and a strong network of connections, was in a unique position to expand his interests into the new economy of the former Soviet states.
With the prospect of global entrepreneurship on the horizon, Arif and his brother invested in a chromium plant in Kazakhstan. The success of the project would allow Arif to establish a company primarily focused on the import and export of heavy metals and raw materials. In addition to these ventures, Arif also operated a successful jewelry company.
Arif Becomes A Luxury Real Estate Developer
From his studies to his tenure in the Soviet government, Arif had always maintained an interest in hotels and property management. Not long after entering the private sector, Arif began investing in real estate and property development across the region, with projects in Kazakhstan, Turkey and across Europe.
In 2001, Tevfik Arif founded Bayrock Group to extend his real estate interests to New York City. The company marked Arif’s first major business venture in the United States. Bayrock’s first projects were modest and included the development of a shopping center in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn called Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza.
After gaining experience and confidence in the New York City real estate market through the completion of these smaller projects, Arif and Bayrock Group set their sights on more prestigious neighborhoods in the city. In New York City, so much of business success relies on location and timing. With this notion in mind, the company moved its offices to Trump Tower in the center of Manhattan’s competitive real estate market.
It was not long before Bayrock began discussing possible real estate development deals with the Trump Organization, who maintained its offices in the same building. These talks would lead to a major development and construction deal between the companies that was formally announced on an episode of Donald Trump’s popular television show, “The Apprentice.”
Bayrock Group And Trump SoHo
Trump SoHo was designed as a luxury hotel-condominium complex. The project was developed and built by Bayrock Group and their partner, the Sapir Organization. Trump SoHo was built as a Trump-branded project under a licensing agreement with the Trump Organization. The 46-story building was completed in 2008.
Bayrock Group and the Trump Organization had been negotiating plans to build projects under similar development and licensing arrangements in Florida and Arizona. However, the real estate crisis that hit the United States market and the rest of the world in 2008 resulted in the end of the working relationship between Bayrock Group and the Trump Organization.
Trump SoHo would remain the most significant achievement of Bayrock Group in the United States as Tevfik Arif turned his business interests back to Central Asia and Europe. Arif took great risks in entering the United States’ market, which was unfamiliar to him and operated under different laws and norms. But as an entrepreneur, Arif understood that great risks often reap great rewards.
Today, Tevfik Arif has retired from the day-to-day activities of the family business that he helped to build, but he remains an important advisor to ensure its continued success. The company maintains interests in the natural resources and real estate sectors, among others.
In total, Bayrock Group has invested in real estate assets valued at over $2.5 billion during the time it was active in the United States. The company has not pursued any new real estate development projects in the United States in recent years.
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