The city sale of the century

Strictly Orthodox property developer Eliasz Englander had a problem. His firm, Citywise, is developing a 106,000 ft scheme at 1 Southampton Row in central London. He needed to put a tower crane on the site, but was informed by builders Bovis the crane had to be erected on Saturday to prevent traffic disruption.

Obviously he could not break Shabbat, so he took the only other option. He sold the site, worth £90 million, for £100. It was bought by a non-Jewish Citywise employee who was given 28 days to complete — and failed. By the time the  property had reverted to Englander, there happened to be a tower crane on the site.

    Last updated: 6:17pm, June 27 2008