Stephanie Saul

The archetype of the condo boom is the Time Warner Center. Marketed during the real estate malaise that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the towers were heavily promoted to an international clientele. The Russians have come buying.
Many of the apartments were purchased through shell companies, but a New York Times investigation identified at least 20 that have been owned by Russians or citizens of other former Soviet republics who, in all, invested more than $200 million in Time Warner Center condos.
“This building has so many Russians, it’s unbelievable,” said Stratos Costalas, a real estate broker with Oxford Property Group who has sold apartments in the building.
There is evidence of even more Russian owners, but their identities are so carefully concealed that The Times was unable to definitively identify them.

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  1. shinichi Post author

    At the Time Warner Center, an Enclave of Powerful Russians

    by Stephanie Saul and Louise Story

    For example, even the longtime renters of Apartment 63B in the south tower do not know the names of their landlords, though they believe they are Russian. Records show that the legal owner is a company called Daloa Group Holdings, but from there the trail goes cold.

    Many of the Russians whom The Times was able to identify at the Time Warner Center were players in the epic deals of the Yeltsin era that privatized vast, hulking state companies and created the country’s most powerful oligarchs. And quite a few of their stories circle through that of Mr. Vavilov.

    Mr. Vavilov did not respond to requests for an interview for this article. Nor did he speak up publicly a few years ago when a mysterious media blitz of charges and countercharges broke out involving a longtime adversary, a financier and former Russian lawmaker named Ashot Egiazaryan, who was seeking political asylum in the United States.

    It turns out that Mr. Vavilov was at the center of the byzantine affair. Seed money for the media campaign came from bags of cash Mr. Vavilov had lying around his Moscow home, according to a deposition from a subsequent defamation lawsuit in New York. Mr. Vavilov was neither plaintiff nor defendant in the litigation, but by the time it was over in 2014, he had quietly spent more than $1 million in legal fees.


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