Anglo Irish Fights New York Tycoon; Bank Battles 'Condo King' in Court for K165m

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Byline: Joe Downes

ANGLO Irish Bank is seeking to repossess a Manhattan apartment block from a developer called New York's 'condo king'.

The nationalised Irish lender is trying to get back the E165million it lent for the development.

Its U.S. subsidiary has gone to the New York courts to take possession of 225 Rector Place from a company, YL Rector Street LLC, controlled by developer Yair Levy.

The controversial Israeli-American tycoon was in court earlier this year accused of seriously assaulting a business partner with an ice bucket. He faces a possible jail term as his property empire collapses.

To add to his troubles, Anglo Irish has applied to the New York State Supreme Court to complete foreclosure on the Manhattan complex. It wants to auction off the building.

Mr Levy borrowed the cash from Anglo Irish to finance plans to gut the 11-storey building and remake it into a luxury apartment complex and lease the lobby to high-fashion and jewellery retailers.

The property, which is in the Battery Park area of New York and is worth about $90million (e62m), was supposed to be renovated by last Christmas but Mr Levy's company ran into serious financial problems in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the credit crisis of last year, leaving the building an incomplete shell today.

It also leaves over a dozen wealthy New Yorkers badly out of pocket after they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits for their apartments, many of which had been presold for up to $1million each.

Mr Levy founded YL Real Estate Developers 30 years ago. The firm which specialises in investing and developing properties at high-end addresses made Mr Levy a multi-millionaire. …