Patrick McMullan Archives
After moving the Bayrock Group to the 24th floor of Trump Tower,[9] Arif developed a relationship with billionaire businessman Donald Trump. Bayrock went on to collaborate with The Trump Organization on projects in Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Arizona, Colorado, New York, and Florida. Arif began developing property in Brooklyn, initially redeveloping Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza, a three-story, 280,000-square-foot (26,000 m2) waterfront shopping center on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.[10] The property’s tenants include Loehmann’s and Nine West Shoes. In 2003, Bayrock purchased a site out of bankruptcy in the Camelback Corridor of Phoenix, Arizona. Bayrock announced plans for the Trump International Hotel & Residence, a $200 million, 190-foot Trump International Hotel. Plans for the project included 97 private residential units starting at $950,000 and 188 hotel/condo rooms. While the site was approved by the Phoenix City Council and the Planning Commission in 2005, the project was curbed by public opposition[11] and never finished. In 2005, Donald Trump extended the Bayrock Group a one-year deal to develop a project in Moscow. Sater located Russian investors and a potential site for the high-rise, a closed pencil factory named for Sacco and Vanzetti.[9] Sater said, “We looked at some very, very large properties in Russia,” on the scale of “…a large Vegas high-rise.”[13] Bayrock organized a potential deal in Moscow between Trump International Hotel and Russian investors in 2007,[14] but the deal never came to fruition.

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Bayrock Group

The Bayrock Group was founded in 2001 by Tevfik Arif, a former Soviet official from Kazakhstan who became an international businessman. He founded Bayrock after he moved some of his businesses to the United States. Arif hired Russian businessman Felix Sater as managing director of Bayrock in 2003.[2] Sater became Bayrock’s Chief Operating Officer,[3] and assisted with several projects, including management of the Trump SoHo project.[2] Sater left Bayrock in 2008[4] after a New York Times article revealed his criminal past.

In 1998, Sater had pled guilty to stock racketeering and fraud as part of a US and Russian mafia-connected $40 million stock pump and dump scheme.[4] He worked with the CIA and the FBI, allegedly offering information on a black market for Stinger missiles.[4][7] Sater later worked as a senior advisor to Trump. By 2014, Bayrock was largely inactive, with the exception of a few lawsuits.

According to Forbes Magazine, Bayrock is “a series of commonly controlled, but not wholly owned, limited liability companies.”[3] Bayrock Group is arranged in tiers, with Bayrock Group LLC having a majority or plurality interest in around 12 subsidiary holding companies. The holding companies in turn have majority interests in companies on lower tiers. The lower tier subsidiaries correspond to individual real estate projects, with Bayrock Spring Street corresponding to Trump SoHo, Bayrock Camelback to the Phoenix hotel project, and Bayrock Merrimac to the Trump Fort Lauderdale hotel.[8] Other Bayrock subsidiaries include Bayrock Whitestone and Bayrock Ocean Club.

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