Bayrock Group Partnered with Top-Shelf Companies to Boost Growth
(Photo : Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels)

Within a few years, the luxury real estate development firm Bayrock Group went from executing small to medium-sized projects to partnering with industry leaders like the Trump Organization, the Sapir Organization, Handel Architects, and Rockwell Group.

Opportunities in the American real estate market lures millions of investors every year. Turkish-Kazakhstani Tevfik Arif was one of them when he moved to America in 2001 and established his company, Bayrock Group.

Bayrock Group dealt with luxury real estate development in and around New York City. In the beginning, the company primarily focused on small to medium-sized developments such as the renovation of the Loehmann's Seaport Plaza - a mall in the Sheepshead area of Brooklyn.

After gaining a foothold in the American real estate market, Bayrock Group was poised for expansion, with an emphasis on pursuing large-scale projects.

The Arif-led firm partnered with the Sapir Organization, an established, family-owned real estate company, on a new, big project on Spring Street in New York City. The transition also prompted Bayrock Group to relocate its headquarters to the Trump Tower in Midtown, Manhattan.

The Trump Organization, owners of the Manhattan building, maintained offices on the top floor of the tower. Talks grew between Bayrock Group and the Trump Organization as the two firms discovered shared passions and ambitions.

The two businesses joined forces, with the Trump Organization joining Bayrock Group's development project with the Sapir Organization on Spring Street.

At the time, the Trump Organization was managed by former American president Donald Trump.

The company was founded as E. Trump & Son by his paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Christ Trump, and his father, Fred Trump, in 1923. In 2017, Donald Trump handed over the leadership of the family business to his children.

The first brick of Trump SoHo is laid

Just over half a decade old, Bayrock Group was still relatively new and unknown in New York City's real estate market. To boost notoriety, Tevfik Arif drafted a plan that would add more prestige to the Spring Street project.

According to the deal, the Trump Organization would receive 18% equity in the building in exchange for branding rights. The developers could capitalize on the Trump brand recognition by adding the Trump name to the title of the building.

All three firms signed the deal, and in 2006, the first brick of what would become Trump SoHo was laid.

Bayrock Group's contribution to New York City's skyline

Two years later, Bayrock Group, the Trump Organization and the Sapir Organization inaugurated the newest addition to New York City's skyline.

Trump SoHo's 46 stories featured world-class restaurants and bars, multiple event and banquet halls, an outdoor pool, a spa department, and hotel rooms as well as condo apartments.

Guests and residents of Trump SoHo could enjoy a stunning view of New York City through the building's floor-to-ceiling windows, which were installed on all stories.

As the three companies behind the building were aiming for perfection, the renowned architecture business Handel Architects was tasked with designing the exterior of Trump SoHo.

Handel Architects is an award-winning company with a diverse portfolio, spanning Filene's Department Store in Boston, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, and the Rosewood condo-hotel in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, among other projects.

The building's interior design was crafted by the Rockwell Group. Over the years, Rockwell Group has designed multiple luxurious hotels, restaurants, casinos, bars, theaters, and much more all over the world.

Their work includes the spa department at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel in Mumbai, India, the 93rd Academy Award show, and the Amara Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus. 

Global financial crisis slows Bayrock Group's expansion

Tevfik Arif founded Bayrock Group in New York City in 2001

Trump SoHo was an instant success, and it prompted Bayrock Group and the Trump Organization to look into expanding their partnership.

They planned to construct buildings similar to Trump SoHo in Arizona and Florida under the same agreement that would leave the Trump Organization with a share of equity in the building in return for using the Trump brand in its title.

Bayrock Group and the Trump Organization were ready, but the market downturn proved too much of a hurdle. The two partners were working on the projects in 2008 when the American real estate market became severely hit by the global financial crisis.

The crisis changed the American real estate market to such a degree that the Bayrock Group founder, Tevfik Arif, decided to abandon business ventures in the United States and refocus on Europe and Asia, where he started his career.

While Arif is no longer an active part of Bayrock Group, he remains an essential and trusted advisor to the other divisions of his family's company.

Bayrock Group has been inactive in the United States in recent years, but while it was operating, the firm invested in real estate assets worth more than $2.5 million.