"American Gesheft" by Ihor Kolomoiskyi: hotels, factories and industrial complexes

"American Gesheft" by Ihor Kolomoiskyi: hotels, factories and industrial complexes

For the purchase of US commercial real estate, Ukrainian oligarch and his partners by the mean of the company Optima Management spent more than $ 250 millions

In Cleveland city, Ohio, Ihor Kolomoiskyi controls several buildings, as well as the Westin Hotel for 472 rooms are at the address 777 St. Clair Ave. Optima acquired this hotel in 2011 and payed $ 9 million for it. The hotel was sold by an American bank. Lehman Brothers, which was getting rid of assets during the financial crisis. Kolomoiskyi's company spent much more funds on the reconstruction of then, than the real estate value itself, namely $ 64.5 million.

The local construction company Marous Brothers Construction performed Reconstruction of real estate for an elite hotel complex with four stars status. The modernization included a complete renovation of all rooms (there are now total 484), conference rooms and public spaces, including the opening of the Urban Farmer-Cleveland's Restaurant Steakhouse. In addition, the exterior facade of the building was changed, now the hotel has metal panels and LED lighting, which shimmers in different colors.

Westin Cleveland Downtown - Hotel

Westin Hotel Cleveland Downtown before reconstruction

Westin Hotel Cleveland - reconstruction

Westin Hotel Cleveland Downtown after reconstruction

The first purchased asset of the company was One Cleveland Center. The property was acquired in 2008 at a stated cost of $ 86.3 million. Another building Penton Media Building had cost $ 46.5 million  

Besides Kolomoiskyi and partners acquired office buildings and commercial real estate in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, West Virginia, Texas and Florida.  

However, many transactions have proven controversial, underfinanced, or lost-making. For example, in Harvard, Illinois, where Kolomoiskyi bought the former Motorola plant in 2008, its takeover company Optima was identified in the local press as "a US subsidiary of a private global company based in Ukraine, which invested in oil, gas." The acquire plant building cost was $ 16.8 million. Six years later, in 2014, Kolomoiskyi offered to sell the building for $ 37 million, but there were no volunteers. Electricity at the plant was turned off for non-payment the bills; heating was turned off by the beginning of winter. As a result, Kolomoiskyi defaulted on property taxes in the district for $ 329 thousand, and local sales price fell to $ 15 million

Partners of Kolomoisky on American investments are Mordechai Korf and Uri Leiber. Korf is the executive director of Optima in Miami. He is one of several children of Ukrainian origin rabbi, Abraham Korf. Uri Leiber, as well as Korf, lives in Miami and together with him and Kolomoiskyi invested in real estate in Cleveland, the Warren Steel Holdings steel mill in Ohio, Felman Productions Steel Cleaning Plant in Virginia, as well as a number of processing plants located throughout America. Moreover, Leiber is a member of the Supervisory Board of Ukrnafta, where Kolomoisky owns a minority stake.

In Miami, the partners had another asset – the company Georgian American Alloys, engaged in the extraction of manganese ore in Georgia, but in May 2017, the Georgian authorities expropriated the plant.

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