Photo: Antony Wood, CTBUH
Donald Trump is receiving renewed criticism today over his three Trump Tower Projects in Tampa, Baja, and Philadelphia.In an article by the New York Times, buyers of units in the properties say they were led to believe Trump was an active developer in the projects, when in fact, he had allowed only his name to be used in licensing arrangements.
According to Trump’s son, Donald Jr:
When things got over-inflated in the world, we removed ourselves from the ground-up development world, where we are risking a lot more.”
We switched more to a licence model … as “big successes.”
It was the success of past projects that prompted buyers to pay substantial down payments that, in the end, just disappeared.
Retired colonel John Robbins who lost half of his $150,000 deposit on a Trump Tower Tampa property, said he would never have bought without the assurance of Trump’s active involvement.
“With the Trump name,” Mr. Robbins said of his $756,000 unit, “we thought it would be a quality building and address.”
The marketing materials left little doubt that Mr. Trump was a driving force behind the 52-story tower … and [he] even showed up to mingle with potential buyers at a lavish, catered event.
A confidential document later revealed in court filings, showed Trump was not a developer and had licensed his name for $4 million and a share of any profits. Trump’s appearance at the events were also part of his contract.
Aside from the loss of their money, what many buyers find most galling is Trump’s suggestion that it was all for the best; that the projects collapse were all a blessing that allowed them to avoid the housing crash and plunging home values.
“They were better off losing their deposit,” Mr. Trump said.
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