|By Oriel Herman, Globes, Tel Aviv,
IsraelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 23, 2009--"The New York Times" reports that Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL; Pink Sheets: AFIVY) chairman Lev Leviev plans to invest an additional $170 million in the old New York Times Building at Times Square in Manhattan.
Instead of the original plans to convert the 15-story building into a first-class office building, he now plans for the building to have luxury shops, exhibition space, a stylish bowling alley, and seven restaurants on the lower floors.
Plans for the upper floors are now for a high-end hotel with up to 379 rooms, and 26 penthouse condominiums on the highest floors.
Leviev bought the building in 2007 for $525 million, but the economic crisis meant that Leviev could not find tenants, and Africa-Israel meanwhile fell into severe financial difficulties over its billions of dollars in debt.
Yesterday, Africa-Israel reached a deal to restructure the debt on the building. Overall debt was cut by 60 percent, and the company holding in the building was reduced to 50 percent.
To see more of Globes or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.globes-online.com.
Copyright (c) 2009, Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email email@example.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA. NYT,