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Old January 15th, 2007, 08:08 AM   #541
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January 12, 2007

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Old January 15th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #542
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nice pic
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Old January 15th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #543
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TRUMP Contract Sales

Did I hear correctly that Trump is raising the purchase price on those who already signed contracts?
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Old January 15th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #544
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Can't happen.
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Straight from Michigan and Monroe in downtown Chicago!
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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #545
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Did I hear correctly that Trump is raising the purchase price on those who already signed contracts?

Dumped by Trump

By Alby Gallun
Jan. 15, 2007
The Donald wants it all.

So say some buyers in Donald Trump's downtown condominium tower who are in a standoff with the celebrity developer over his plan to cancel their purchase contracts and take back their condos, along with millions of dollars in paper profits.

The move allows Mr. Trump to recapture profits he gave up by selling the units at a discount through a special "friends and family" program back in 2003.

It was an opportunity for people who worked on the 90-story project — mostly lawyers, architects and brokers — to buy in early at a discount, with the chance to sell for a big gain as condo prices rose. And prices in the building have soared, in some cases doubling over the past three years. Total condo sales at the tower are expected to top $1 billion.

"This guy is just jerking us around," says Nathan Diamond-Falk, who signed a contract to buy a condo with his wife, an interior designer who worked on the project's sales center. "It's just tacky. It may be the way they do business in New York, but I certainly don't think it's the way they do business in Chicago."

Mr. Trump is presenting the discount buyers with a stark choice: pay more for their condos or give them up. He makes no apology for the hardball move.

"They are profits we're entitled to," says Mr. Trump, who contends that he can legally terminate the deals.

One disgruntled buyer who asked not to be named agreed to buy a condo for about $1.3 million in 2003 and estimates it is now worth $2.2 million, based on recent sales. In a letter last summer, the Trump Organization told the buyer that the contract was "null and void" and that Trump was returning the down payment, erasing a nearly million-dollar gain.

Trump sold 32 condos and 11 condo-hotel units through the friends and family program in 2003, when it began marketing the 758-unit high-rise at 401 N. Wabash Ave. A letter to prospective buyers called the program "our way of thanking you for your continued hard work," offering a 10% discount off list prices and a rare opportunity to "flip" units to another buyer even before closing.

PROMINENT BUYERS

Buyers included David Radler, former president and COO of Hollinger International Inc., then-parent of the Chicago Sun-Times, which owned the development site and was once a partner in the project; prominent real estate attorney Theodore Novak, whose firm, DLA Piper, represents the Trump project; several brokers at Koenig & Strey GMAC, the brokerage firm hired to market the development, and several architects at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the architecture firm that designed the skyscraper. Efforts to reach Mr. Novak, Skidmore Managing Partner Richard Tomlinson and Mr. Radler's attorney were unsuccessful.

It looked like a good deal for both sides. Buyers got a price break and Mr. Trump got early sales needed to land bank loans for the project. With the help of the friends and family plan, Trump sold enough units to secure financing and break ground in 2005. Buyers have signed contracts for 79% of the 472 residential condos and 77% of the hotel units, according to Tere Proctor, the Koenig & Strey broker in charge of sales.

Yet Trump executives last year started notifying friends and family buyers that their contracts would be cancelled or renegotiated at a higher price. Some buyers agreed to pay more, while others, like Mr. Diamond-Falk, are still considering their legal options.

Ms. Proctor, who signed a contract for a condo and a hotel unit, declines to discuss her situation, other than to say she still has contracts to buy both and has no complaints. She and most of the other friends and family buyers still count Mr. Trump as a business client, giving them incentive to accede to his wishes.

So far about three-quarters of the 43 contracts either have been terminated or renegotiated, estimates Jason Greenblatt, the project's in-house attorney. Only "a couple of bitter people" have complained, he says. Trump's other buyers are unaffected, he says.

"Why should we sell things for a lower price when the project is so successful?" Mr. Greenblatt says. The original buyers are "not entitled to a huge windfall. They understood that from day one."

Chicago developer Daniel McLean says he's "never heard of" developers canceling early contracts with friends and family.

"It seems to me that they're not going to be your friends and family anymore if you throw them out of the deal," he says.

©2007 by Crain Communications Inc.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 05:26 AM   #546
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Legally, Trump might be in the clear...but this is seriously a backhanded bastard move (I'd describe it another way, but it would just get deleted.) Maybe we're not hearing the full story yet, but if we are...yikes.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #547
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...l=chi-news-hed

Trump undoing deals
Condo buyers who got discounts in friends/family program told contracts voided

By Susan Diesenhouse
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 16, 2007



The letter from Donald Trump's lawyer didn't say, "You're fired." But it said something close.

Back in 2003, when Trump was planning his downtown residential tower, he gave about 40 insiders an attractive deal: They could sign contracts to buy condominiums in the Trump International Hotel & Tower at a discount. In some cases they agreed to pay about $500 a square foot.

But units in the building, still under construction, are on the market for as much as $1,343 a square foot. That would represent a tidy profit for these early purchasers. Except that Trump has notified them that their agreements are "null and void."

That's not as catchy as Trump's stock phrase on "The Apprentice," but it has been enough to upset some would-be purchasers who participated in what was called a "friends and family" sales program.

Since the summer, Trump has notified this special class of buyers, many with a professional connection to the project, that their deals have been canceled. If they want to close on units in the tower, now due for completion in 2009, they must pay closer to current asking prices.

Some real estate experts strained to cite a precedent for a developer offering contracts at a preconstruction discount to get the ball rolling on a project and then canceling the deals later as selling prices rose.

"I never heard of this before," said Richard Peiser, a professor of real estate development at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

If a developer asks firms they work with to buy units "to help a project appear successful and achieve certain hurdles," Peiser said, "it would seem the buyer should enjoy the upside."

"In my experience it would be very unusual for a developer to get out of a purchase-and-sale contract because prices have gone up," said Kevin Ahearn, president of Boston-based Otis & Ahearn Real Estate, which sells luxury residences.

One of Trump's unhappy "friends" is Judi Diamond-Falk, an Evanston architect who designed an early sales office for him here.

"Anyone who buys preconstruction gets a financial benefit for the risk they take," Diamond-Falk said.

Trump also benefited from the early sales, she added, because he "could say that a certain percentage of units are presold to get his financing and tell the public a certain percentage was presold. People didn't know they were friends and family sales."

In April 2003, the Diamond-Falks paid about 10 percent less than the asking price, put down an initial deposit of 5 percent rather than the then-required 15 percent and would have been permitted to sell their unit before they closed on it, Diamond-Falk said.

But Trump said in an interview Monday that the sales contract included wording that allows him to raise the prices for the friends and family units. Neither he nor the Diamond-Falks would provide the Tribune with a complete copy of the contract.

In June, Trump attorney Jason Greenblatt wrote to the Diamond-Falks to notify them that the sale was "null and void," citing "Paragraph 12 (b)" of the contract. That clause refers very generally to "matters beyond [the] seller's reasonable control" as a reason for the developer to default on the contract.

This clause "is only part of our rights and remedies," said Greenblatt. The friends and family sales "were a gift" to a small group, he said.

"From Day One, they understood that if the project was successful, the windfall would go to Mr. Trump," he said.

About 42 units were sold to friends and family. Contracts were renegotiated or terminated on at least 27 units, Greenblatt said. Two or three buyers balked at the new deal, he said, and a dozen still must be contacted.

Since 2003, of the 472 residential condos available, 373 have been sold. Of the 286 condo-hotel units, 220 have been sold, said Tere Proctor, Trump's sales director here.

As of November, residential asking prices ranged from $998 to $1,343 a square foot, compared with $400 to $750 in September 2003, according to Appraisal Research Counselors.

Most of the sales occurred by January 2005, said Jim Kutill, a vice president at Appraisal Research.

In the past two years the slowdown in the residential market has affected the approximately $775 million tower, Trump acknowledged. About 21 percent of the residential units remain unsold, Proctor said. At the same time, construction costs have skyrocketed.

Trump said one reason for canceling the friends and families contracts is to "have more income to handle potentially higher construction costs."

"This job has become a tremendous success because of me," Trump added. "Everyone knows, with a friends and family program, if a job is very successful, people have clauses whereby you renegotiate or terminate."

Of these early buyers also employed to work on the tower, he noted, "Don't feel bad for them. I paid them many millions of dollars in fees."

- - -

Trump giveth and taketh away

The "Friends/Family Sales Program" allowed key people who participated in the Trump tower project to purchase one traditional condo or hotel condo unit at 10 percent below the initial sales prices. An initial deposit of 5 percent was required, in contrast with a 15 percent deposit others had to put down.

"As we anticipate raising prices periodically throughout the pre- and post-construction period, this opportunity would become increasingly more worthwhile with each price increase," says a Sept. 24, 2003, letter from the Trump Organization and Koenig & Strey GMAC Real Estate, the sales agent. Purchasers could "flip" their units, or assign their purchase agreement, to any third party at any time after construction began, according to the letter.

Jason Greenblatt, a New York lawyer representing the Trump Organization, has sent letters telling purchasers their purchase agreements are null and void "in accordance with our rights under the contract, including, without limitation, paragraph 12 (b)" (cited below):

Paragraph 12 (b): If seller defaults on any of seller's covenants or obligations hereunder, and such default is caused by matters beyond seller's reasonable control, then purchaser's sole and exclusive remedy ... shall be a refund of purchase's earnest money deposit and interest which may have accrued thereon to which purchaser is entitled pursuant to Paragraph 2 hereof and all payments theretofore made by purchaser. Upon refund to purchaser of said earnest money and payment of interest thereon, if any, and refund to purchaser of other amounts paid by purchaser, this purchase agreement shall be thereupon null and void with no further liabilities of either party hereto.

----------

[email protected]



Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
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Old January 17th, 2007, 02:44 AM   #548
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it seems to me...

Seems to me that Trump can't actually control the price from a sale he made 3 or 4 years ago... I can't imagine he would lower the friends and family rates for those contracts already signed if the sales weren't so hot... Besides, builders often need those early sales to act as collateral for future loans...
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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:35 AM   #549
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There is the way that most do business, then theres the way that Trump does business. Has anyone connected the dots, isn't the time that Trump sent the letters the same general time we were hearing about Kehller and his new confidently high pricepoints he thought he could sell his units for at Chicago Spire!?...just a thought.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 07:19 AM   #550
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BTW, for those that don't live in Chicago or go into the city on a regular basis, I don't think the pictures do the tower justice. Trump Tower is already a presence downtown. I can see it peeking through buildings while walking down Kinze west of Orleans, and its definitely noticable.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #551
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"Noticeable" would be an understatement. Because most Chicago streets follow the grid, even streets running straight through the Loop tend to have blue skies on either end. Because Trump is built at a bend in Wabash, it completely fills both sightlines from the north and south. This makes it look even bigger than it is right now, and it's only at a dozen or so stories! If I get ambitious tomorrow, I'll snap a few pictures...
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Old January 17th, 2007, 06:33 PM   #552
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Its more like 22 or 23 but who's counting? I wouldn't dare do such a thing.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 11:14 PM   #553
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, just fooling around:







[/QUOTE]
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Old January 27th, 2007, 05:39 AM   #554
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^Interesting pics, its also interesting how quiet this thread has been, seems Trump is feeling the SPIRE effect.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #555
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Trump, through the eyes of a fish.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #556
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There haven't been that many photos lately, so here's a bunch. Hopefully you'll find one you like. Just in case you forgot whose building this is, there are helpful hints scatter throughout the pictures.

January 26, 2007























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Old January 27th, 2007, 08:54 AM   #557
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Retrograde (motion), those are amazing shots. You should be taking shots for emporis.

Retrograde motion being the apparent backward movement of planets as the earth passes them. It's been a long time since my astronomy days.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #558
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen View Post
Retrograde (motion), those are amazing shots. You should be taking shots for emporis.

Retrograde motion being the apparent backward movement of planets as the earth passes them. It's been a long time since my astronomy days.
Thanks i_am_hydrogen! Yes, you are correct. I took my screen name from retrograde motion. Good catch.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #559
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrograde View Post
Just in case you forgot whose building this is, there are helpful hints scatter throughout the pictures.

Yeah, when did they add that TRUMP red sign, I noticed it last week but I don't remember it before then?
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Old January 27th, 2007, 08:10 PM   #560
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Originally Posted by danthediscoman View Post
Yeah, when did they add that TRUMP red sign, I noticed it last week but I don't remember it before then?
I think the sign went up last Wednesday.

Love him or hate him, Trump is giving us one hell of a tower!
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