Sofiev-Leviev is already negotiating retail leases for the former New York Times building.

NEW YORK CITY-Africa Israel USA has named Chagit Sofiev-Leviev as its new CEO. Still serving as CEO for LGC USA Holdings, Inc., a privately owned holdings company, Sofiev-Leviev will work with AFI USA to manage the company’s current portfolio of US assets.

The daughter of the company’s parent firm’s chief executive, Lev Leviev, she succeeds Tamir Kazaz. Sofiev-Leviev recently completed a $215 million refinancing of the lower floors of the old New York Times building, at 229 W. 43rd St., where AFI owns a 250,000-square-foot retail condominium. Additionally, Sofiev-Leviev is currently negotiating leases for the 43rd street retail space at the building with several retailers and eateries.

Previously, AFI USA lost millions on the Times building, according to Crain’s New York. It bought the property in 2007, at the height of the real estate boom, paying $525 million. When the recession hit, the new owner was unsuccessful in its attempts to lease the fully vacant property’s office floors. Eventually Africa Israel sold the office portion of the 750,000-square-foot property for $160 million. More recently, however, Africa Israel USA has seen some success leasing the building’s retail space. In the last few years it has signed several tenants, including Bowlmor Lanes, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, Jekyll & Hyde and the Discovery Museum.

AFI USA’s other domestic assets include Casa Moderna Hotel & Spa at the Marquis Residences, a 67-story luxury condominium located at 1100 Biscayne Boulevard, in Downtown Miami/

“Chagit’s drive and determination are going to be instrumental in moving AFI forward,” says Damien Stein, COO at AFI USA. “She is a tremendous leader and we are thrilled to have her at the helm.” 

In addition to serving as CEO for LGC USA, Sofiev-Leviev has served as CFO for Memorand Group, a privately owned holdings company in Israel, and previously was an advisor on international real estate valuations and business plans at Deloitte & Touche in Israel.