International Business Times
Speaking to IBTimes UK, with reference to the EU’s decision to extend sanctions on Russia, Edward Mermelstein, an international attorney from law firm Rheem Bell & Mermelstein, said the extended sanctions would not worsen the economic situation in Russia, as the country has a history of remaining independent of the Western systems.
“I don’t see there being any new sanctions or any meetings that could worsen the situation, unless we are talking about totally disconnecting Russia from the American banking system and it’s very unlikely that it will happen,” Mermelstein, who focuses on Russian and East European economies, said.
“Assuming that it does, this is not the first time this has happened. The Soviet Union existed for quite a long time without being connected to the US banking systems and they did fine for 70 years.”
The average price of units in these new buildings is expected to reach a record $5.9 million this year, according to a report released Tuesday from CityRealty.
“It’s not just going to break all records in terms of price, it’s going to be the first to hit those records within the shortest period of time,” said international real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein, who completed the most deals at 15 Central Park West.
“We know that Nazarbayev is a constant, we know what to expect of him,” said Edward Mermelstein, president of U.S.-based Alfa Consulting Group which provides business advice focused on Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
“He’s made it clear he’s not a puppet of Russia and that he is not also someone to be used by the West.”
The Real Deal
Ed Mermelstein, a Rheem Bell & Mermelstein founding partner who works extensively with Eastern European buyers, said that “the bent on the [NYT] story which tries to indicate that foreigners are trying to siphon funds into the United States and painting it as there being possible illegalities associated with these moneys coming into the U.S. is, to a large extent, ridiculous.”
The Real Deal
Ed Mermelstein, a real estate attorney who has many Russian clients, said Russian investors have recently shifted away from high-profile, vanity condo purchases and are looking for stakes in commercial development, which can offer better returns than in their own home country. He recently closed several large deals with Russian investors that had been temporarily in limbo after the ruble’s steep decline at the end of 2014.
But Mermelstein said he’s actually seeing the economic situation in Russia help spur more investment in New York. “When the rest of the world is in havoc, the U.S., and especially New York City, is the safest and strongest place to invest,” he said, during a phone interview.
“I’m on a plane right now going to Russia to meet with groups looking to put money into projects in New York,” he said.
Edward Mermelstein, a New York-based attorney who works with Russian clients and advises on cross-border investments in the Russian Federation, is currently in Moscow and told CNBC that although currency controls are technically not the law, they are essentially in effect. He told CNBC that his clients cannot get their money out of Russia as of this month. “Clients who manufacture outside of Russia get paid in rubles and need to convert those funds to dollars in order to purchase and manufacture so that they can import more product into Russia,” Mermelstein said. “Today’s issue is they cannot get dollars out of the country, and so cannot purchase new products.” Banks are not processing the transfers, he said.
The Real Deal
“We’re in a strong position compared with the rest of the world,” said Ed Mermelstein, a founding partner of real estate law firm Rheem Bell & Mermelstein.
“When the prices of commodities and currency are heading downward, holding real estate in the U.S. is better than holding the gold standard of yesteryear.”
Buyers have also poured more funds into New York real estate over the past two months, says, Edward Mermelstein, a partner at law firm Rheem Bell & Mermelstein who advises Russian investors. “Many of our clients who are active in commercial real estate increased their appetites,” he says. “Now the indication is that their bet was correct.”
The Real Deal
Co-ops are also perceived by some as being more exclusive than condos. Whereas condos turn over regularly, co-ops often stay in the hands of the same families and don’t come to market that often, said real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein. “Most of the buyers along Fifth and Park avenues tend to be there for life,” Mermelstein said. There remains a gap, however. Co-op prices are yet to crack the $90 million mark set by new development condos such as Extell Development’s One57. But Mermelstein said that co-ops would continue to catch up. “It’s just inevitable,” he said. – See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/10/22/tracking-nycs-co-op-sales-records/#sthash.EcxY1rIf.dpuf
Voice of America
…with tensions over Ukraine on the rise, Russian investors are changing their strategies within the American market. That’s according to U.S.-based real estate agents and lawyers who cater to clients from the former Soviet Union.
“The high times are over,” said Edward Mermelstein, a New York lawyer who represents foreign investors in the U.S., including many Russians.
“It’s now mainly a flight to safety in American markets,”said Mermelstein.
Nervous Ukrainian money en route to New York’s safe haven
They are not just focusing on New York, but New York is the strongest center,” said Edward Mermelstein, a Ukrainian-born lawyer who helps wealthy Eastern Europeans invest in New York real estate. “In the media, the city is always portrayed as the safest bet. It also has prestige.”
Mermelstein said he has been speaking with clients on an hourly basis in recent weeks, which is more often than usual. Most of the callers were not from Russia or Ukraine, but from countries like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan.