We’re guessing he probably believes Trump Tower is, too.
NY Times: Guess who is complaining that condominiums in Donald Trump’s latest big project are ridiculously overpriced.
Donald Trump is.
But he isn’t cutting the prices. He says the banks won’t let him. The project is the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, which is to be the second-tallest building in that city (after the Sears Tower). By Mr. Trump’s account, sales were going great until “the real estate market in Chicago suffered a severe downturn” and the bankers made it worse by “creating the current financial crisis.”
Those assertions are made in what The New York Times’ Floyd Norris calls a fascinating lawsuit filed by Mr. Trump, the real estate developer, television personality and best-selling author, in an effort to avoid paying $40 million that he personally guaranteed on a construction loan that Deutsche Bank says is due and payable.
Rather than have to pay the $40 million, Mr. Trump thinks the bank should pay him $3 billion for undermining the project and damaging his reputation.
He points to a “force majeure” clause in the lending agreement that allows the borrower to delay completion of the building if construction is hampered by such things as riots, floods or strikes. That clause has a catch-all section covering “any other event or circumstance not within the reasonable control of the borrower,” and Mr. Trump figures that lets him out, even though construction is continuing.
“Would you consider the biggest depression we have had in this country since 1929 to be such an event? I would,” he told Mr. Norris in an interview. “A depression is not within the control of the borrower.”
He wants a state judge in the Queens borough of New York to order the bank to delay efforts to collect the loan until “a reasonable time” after the financial crisis ends.
Deutsche Bank thinks the idea that an economic downturn should free people from the obligation to pay their debts is laughable, says Mr. Norris.
Mr. Trump, it may be noted, does not think remorseful condominium buyers are in a similar position, Mr. Norris says, noting that when he asked Mr. Trump if he would let them walk away from contracts to buy apartments at predepression prices, he said he would not. “They don’t have a force majeure clause,” he told Mr. Norris.
Ah, that’s what we forgot! Knew it was something.