Founded in 2001 by Turkish-Kazakhstani businessman Tevfik Arif, Bayrock Group develops luxury real estate in New York City.
This article will overview Bayrock Group’s origins and its owner, Tevfik Arif. We will also elaborate on the impact of Bayrock Group’s Trump SoHo building in New York City.
The history of Tevfik Arif, the Bayrock Group, and Donald Trump
A leader in international business, Tevfik Arif was born in the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan to an ethnic Turkish family. He moved to New York City in 2001.
Aside from wanting to be near his American family, Tevfik Arif was also looking for new business opportunities.
In New York City, he founded the Bayrock Group, a luxury real estate development company. As a first project, the company renovated Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead area, a small to medium-size project.
Arif’s growing confidence and understanding of the market led him to strive for greater heights for his Bayrock Group. As Bayrock Group completed more successful projects, Tevfik Arif decided it was time to aim higher. He wanted to have a more significant impact.
Bayrock Group’s strategy changed, and the company’s headquarters were also upgraded. A move was made from Fifth Avenue to the Trump Tower, one of the most famous buildings in the world.
In this building, Tevfik Arif met one of the world’s most powerful men, Donald Trump.
The Trump Organization caught the eye of Bayrock Group, a fast-growing upstart in the industry. Both companies began discussing collaborative projects that would benefit Bayrock’s notoriety and the Trump Organization’s licensing opportunities.
With the Sapir organization, Bayrock Group was developing a new hotel and condominium tower complex in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Using the Trump brand for the Trump SoHo Tower was secured through the Trump Organization.
In the project, the Trump family did not invest any capital. But they acquired 17% equity in Trump SoHo in the licensing deal. These deals were standard practices for the Trump Organization, which specialized in licensing and contract management.
In 2008, Trump SoHo was completed. A hotel-condo complex with 391 units, built for $450 million, became a prominent feature of Manhattan’s skyline. For the Trump brand, this achievement would mark a turning point.
Bayrock Group ensured luxury inside and out
Regarding Trump SoHo, the building featured luxurious hotel rooms, apartments, premium restaurants and bars, an outdoor pool, a banquet hall, several event halls, and a world-renowned spa.
Floor-to-ceiling windows on all 46 floors provided outstanding views of New York City.
The Bayrock Group selected Handel Architects to design Trump SoHo.
Located in New York City, Handel Architects is a worldwide design and architecture firm with expertise.
A few of its projects include the September 11th National Memorial in New York City and the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C.
Regarding interior design, Bayrock Group also went with an experienced player, Rockwell Group.
Fendi Casa, the Italian luxury brand that has designed luxury hotels, casinos, and restaurants, furnished the condo hotel.
Tevfik Arif’s life since Trump SoHo
Under similar licensing and development agreements, Bayrock Group and Trump Organization were interested in pursuing additional projects. Several potential ventures were considered in different locations, including Arizona and Florida.
Ultimately, none of these deals progressed beyond the early stages. Due to the downturn in the real estate market in 2008, the two companies would not collaborate anymore.
Donald Trump entered politics and became the controversial president of the United States in the years that followed.
The development of Trump SoHo was completed long before Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign began. Donald Trump and Tevfik Arif’s company partnership ended when opportunities to cooperate no longer existed.
Tevfik Arif returns to Europe and Central Asia after ending the Trump partnership
As for Tevfik Arif, Bayrock Group ended its business operations in the United States in 2008.
Arif continues mantaining interests in Central Asia and Europe, where he started his business enterprises.
Before moving to America and founding Bayrock Group, Tevfik Arif lived in Soviet Kazakhstan and Turkey.
Growing up in Soviet Kazakhstan as the son of Turkish parents, he showed an early interest in business and economics.
As a Moscow Trade and Economic Institute graduate, he was hired by the Soviet Ministry of Commerce and Trade.
Tevfik Arif worked in the ministry’s Hotel Management Department, where he was deputy’s head. Tevfik Arif quit his government job after 17 years and started his own business. As a result of the fall of the Soviet Union.
Tevfik Arif founded companies specialized in imports and exports, automobiles, food, luxury real estate, and hotels.
In 1993, he moved to Turkey to embark on a new business venture and used the extensive knowledge he acquired during his studies and while working for the Soviet government.
Tevfik Arif opened the Labada luxury hotel in Antalya as a pioneer of timeless all-inclusive resorts.
He enjoyed eight more years of outstanding achievements in Europe and Central Asia before he went across the Atlantic to conquer the American market.
Nowadays, he has retired from the daily activities of the business he built, passing the reigns to the next generation of business leaders in his family, to which he remains a vital and trusted advisor.