Tevfik Arif: From Cambul to New York

From Cambul to New York

Tevfik Arif was born in May 1953 in Cambul in Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. He rose to prominence in the business world as a real estate developer and investor.

He relocated to New York City and, in 2001, founded the company Bayrock Group. The company became renowned for its development projects in New York and around the world.

Arif has enjoyed a successful career and continues to be a major player in the world of real estate investment. Despite his many accomplishments, Arif remains humble and cherishes his family above all else. 

Tevfik Arif’s Childhood and Upbringing in the Former Soviet Union

Tevfik Arif was born into an ethnic Turkish family in Cambul in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. Growing up in what was then a fairly isolated region; he received his early education there and later attended a university in Moscow to pursue a degree in international relations.

Throughout his formative years, Arif remained strongly connected to both his cultural and linguistic roots. He also maintained close ties with members of the Meskhetian Turkish community. The community had been forcibly deported to Kazakhstan as a result of Joseph Stalin’s policies.

Tevfik Arif began his career in the mid-1970s when he started working for the USSR’s Ministry of Commerce and Trade. He served as the deputy director of its Department of Hotel Management for 17 years before resigning in 1991.

In the mid-1990s, he began working as an “agent on the ground” in Kazakhstan for Trans World Group. This was a natural resources company run by David and Simon Reuben.

Through his work with Trans World Group, Arif was able to gain valuable experience in the natural resources sector. This experience would prove to be invaluable later on when he founded his own company, the Bayrock Group.

Tevfik Arif’s Move to the Private Sector

Toward the start of the 1990s, the Soviet Union collapsed. This marked a major shift in the political and economic landscape of the world. As a result, people living in and businesses operating in this vast region experienced a dramatic change. They had to transition out of a largely state-run economy into one dominated by private enterprise.

One young man who was keen to take advantage of this changing tide was Tevfik Arif. With years of experience working for the government, he left his job. He then set his sights on carving out his own place in the private sector.

Using his skills and connections, Arif established several successful businesses. His main areas included real estate development, imports and exports, minerals, food production, and natural resources. He quickly proved himself to be an adept entrepreneur with great insight into emerging markets.

Tevfik Arif’s worldwide business contacts ultimately led him to Turkey in 1993. He quickly became one of its most influential figures. By 1998, he had opened not only Labada Hotel Antalya. He also several other luxurious properties across this emerging market eager for Western tourists’ dollars.

Tevfik Arif’s Success in New York

Tevfik Arif’s success in the international business arena can be traced back to Turkey. Here he operated for eight years before moving to New York City in 2001. The move was partially motivated by a desire to be closer to his American family members. It was also driven by a desire to open up new business opportunities.

In New York, Tevfik Arif founded the luxury real estate development firm Bayrock Group. He then began working on smaller projects such as the renovation of Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza in Sheepshead, Brooklyn. From these early beginnings, Bayrock Group eventually grew into one of the city’s most successful real estate companies. It achieved most success with Tevfik Arif at its helm.

When Tevfik Arif decided it was time to aim higher, he didn’t just change his company’s strategy; He upgraded their headquarters as well. They moved into Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City – one street that is famous around the world.

There he met with Donald Trump himself. Trump would become not only an important sounding board but also someone whose acquaintance could help push some projects through government bureaucracy.

Trump and Tevfik Arif’s Business Relationship (Trump SoHo)

When Bayrock Group secured a lucrative deal with the Trump Organization, they knew name recognition and prestige would be crucial. Not for anything but their project in SoHo. It was which was being built by Sapir Organization under contract from Tevfik Arif.

The aim was to make it stand out amongst competing buildings on Spring Street, New York City’s bustling downtown district. It was here where many luxury brands already thrived. It needed something more: an edge over others’ offerings through association alone.

The address change secured Bayrock group this very thing -brand recognition. And with the Trump name attached to their project, Bayrock Group was able to move forward confidently in their dealings. It was easier to develop what would become one of New York City’s most luxurious condominium towers: Trump SoHo, known today as The Dominick SoHo.

Today, Bayrock Group is responsible for some of New York’s most luxurious residential and commercial buildings. These include the Condominium project and residences at 70 Pine Street. Through his work Tevfik Arif has proven himself to be an adept businessman with keen insight into global and local markets. As such, he is considered one of New York City’s leading developers of luxury properties.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.