Bayrock Group succeeded in leveraging the Trump brand name when it opened one of New York City’s finest skyscrapers.
Founded in 2001 by the Turkish-Kazakhstani businessman Tevfik Arif, Bayrock Group is a luxury real estate development firm that quickly rose to the stars on New York City’s real estate sky.
From the beginning, Bayrock Group had set its sights on the Big Apple, and one of the company’s first projects was renovating the shopping center Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza in the Sheepshead area of Brooklyn, New York.
Bayrock Group continued executing small to medium-sized projects for the first few years, but with time, Tevfik Arif became increasingly ambitious.
Following these big dreams, he set up a different strategy for Bayrock Group.
The change of tracks focused on larger and more prestigious luxury real estate development projects, and to accompany the new line, the firm moved its New York City offices to the hottest place in town, Trump Tower.
Located on the 24th floor on the exclusive Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan high-rise, Bayrock Group found itself in the heart of New York City’s most prominent commercial real estate area.
Here, the company made contact with the most famous tenant of the building, the Trump Organization.
Bayrock Group’s unique opportunity
The Trump Organization was founded by Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump, and the former American president’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Christ Trump, in 1923.
Donald Trump took over the management of the organization in 1971 and was in charge until 2017 when he passed it on to his kids.
Over the past century, the Trump Organization has mainly dealt in real estate development, resorts and hotels, and many of the projects have the Trump name in their titles.
This also applies to the building that the Trump Organization and Bayrock Group would construct.
Quickly after moving into the Trump Tower, Bayrock Group came in talks with the Trump Organization about luxury real estate development projects.
Bayrock Group was already planning a building on Spring Street in Manhattan with the Sapir Organization, but Tevfik Arif eyed a unique opportunity in the new business relationship with the Trump Organization.
He knew that the Trump name was very well-known and that adding it to the title of the building would add some extra glamour and recognition.
Therefore, he drafted a deal that would leave the Trump Organization with 18% equity in the project on Spring Street in exchange for using the Trump name in its title.
Bayrock Group, the Trump Organization and the Sapir Organization all signed the agreement, and in 2006, the first brick was laid.
Only the best for Trump SoHo
Two years later, Bayrock Group, the Trump Organization and the Sapir Organization’s joint project, Trump SoHo, was inaugurated.
The impressive skyscraper featured premium restaurants and bars, an outdoor pool, banquet halls, event halls, and a spa department.
The icing on the cake was the view of New York City through Trump SoHo’s floor-to-ceiling windows on all 46 floors.
Being luxury real estate development firms, it was essential to Bayrock Group and the Trump Organization that everything was perfect and outstanding inside and out.
Therefore, the New York City-based company Handel Architects designed the building, while Rockwell Group was tasked with designing the interior of Trump SoHo.
Both companies are world-renowned for their expertise in their fields.
Handel Architects is the firm behind the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City and the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C.
Rockwell Group has designed several luxury hotels, restaurants and casinos and furnished Trump SoHo with items from the prestigious Italian brand Fendi Casa.
Bayrock Group invests millions in the United States
Trump SoHo was an instant success, so Bayrock Group and the Trump Organization started talking about constructing similar projects under the same licensing terms in Arizona and Florida.
Despite big dreams and high ambitions, the projects were never carried out because of the financial crisis that shook the American real estate market in 2008.
The crisis changed the American real estate market and that prompted Bayrock Group’s founder, Tevfik Arif, to leave the United States and go back to Europe and Central Asia, where his career began several decades earlier.
During the years that Bayrock Group was active in the United States, it invested in real estate assets worth more than $2.5 million. In recent years, Bayrock Group has not been involved in any American business ventures.
Today, Tevfik Arif has retired from the majority of his day-to-day tasks in Bayrock Group, but he remains a trusted advisor to the company.
Before establishing his successful firm in New York City, he ran several businesses in Central Europe and Asia.