Trump Tower Tampa Project

  

Billionaire developer Donald Trump came to Tampa on Friday night to open the sales center for his newest project, Trump Tower Tampa, and to deliver two surprises:

First, he said nearly every condominium in the 52-story, 190-unit tower is reserved.

Second, his development group will donate $100,000 to The Tampa Museum of Art.

``Maybe we'll just stay in Tampa,'' he joked after arriving with his new wife, Melania. ``Who needs Palm Beach?''

Trump Tower Tampa, announced last month, will sit at the northwest corner of Ashley Drive and Brorein Street along the Hillsborough River. The $220 million building promises to be Tampa's tallest. At 593 feet, it will be at least 10 feet taller than Bank of America Plaza and 100 North Tampa, the area's two tallest.

Construction is scheduled to begin in April or May, Trump said. Condos are expected to open to residents in 2007.

Trump Tower Tampa boasts some of the highest condominium prices seen in Tampa, with units starting at $700,000 and running to more than $6 million. Most units will cost $1 million to $2 million. Sizes range from 1,991 square feet to 6,150 square feet.

All but 2 percent of the condominiums have been reserved. The remaining units are spoken for, but the people making the reservations haven't fully paid deposits yet,

Reservations, which are 10 percent of the sales price, are refundable. When construction begins, buyers will be asked to make nonrefundable down payments on their units.

There is a waiting list of potential buyers in case any of the people making reservations back out,

Trump said many of the buyers are Tampa residents who plan to make Trump Tower Tampa their primary residence. He said some New Yorkers, including some athletes, have made reservations for condominiums.

``I think you're going to see a lot of Yankees living here, ``They certainly have the money.''

Trump said he and his wife may buy a small unit.

Trump Tower Tampa bears Trump's name, but credit for the project falls mainly to SimDag-RoBEL LLC, a local development group that has been planning a high-rise luxury condominium at the corner since January 2003.

The tower will be billed as a Donald J. Trump Signature Property because it represents a partnership between the Trump Organization and a local developer. The Trump Organization has similar partnerships with other development groups working on projects in Miami-Dade County's Sunny Isles Beach, Fort Lauderdale's beachfront and downtown Toronto.

Trump said his partnership with SimDag-RoBEL is more than a licensing or marketing arrangement. He said he owns less than 50 percent of the project, which he called ``a substantial stake'' he wouldn't mind increasing.

SimDag-RoBEL partners were ecstatic to host Trump and show off their sales center. The center, in Suite 502 at 102 W. Whiting St. in downtown Tampa, opens to the public Monday.

Jody Simon, one of the managing partners of SimDag-RoBEL, said the response to Trump Tower Tampa exceeded his expectations. ``It's overwhelming.''

The donation to The Tampa Museum of Art will come in three phases: one-third now, one-third when workers reach the top floor of the new building, and the final one-third at the grand opening.

Museum backers are $2 million shy of the $46.5 million they need to start construction of a new museum. The total cost of the museum, designed by architect Rafael Vinoly, is approximately $76 million.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio applauded the donation.

``It's wonderful that you have someone who's new to Tampa investing in our downtown and in our cultural institutions,'' she said.

 

 

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