Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Buying Into A 'Trump' Building? A Brand One Can Buy Into? Better Read The Fine Print First

CNN reports:
  • J. Michael Goodson is no slouch. Remember that when you hear his claim of being duped by a Donald Trump condo project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    It started back in 2005 when Goodson, who lives outside Princeton, New Jersey, was looking for a part-time home to live in while doing business near Miami. He admits he was enamored with the Trump Tower in Manhattan and with the developer who built it. Trump was a brand he could buy into, both for the prestige and his belief that a Trump property, no matter where it was, was bound to return a huge financial reward.

    So in 2005, when Trump announced he was building a new Trump Tower in Fort Lauderdale, Goodson put down $345,000 to secure a sixth-floor unit right near the pool.

    "We were given a brochure that said this was the best property he had ever developed," Goodson told CNN.

    The brochure for the Trump International Hotel and Tower was actually a glossy picture book depicting the artists' rendering of a seaside tower with astounding ocean views, magnificent amenities and the Trump name throughout.

    The book even includes a personally signed letter from Trump himself, which read, "It is with great pleasure that I present my latest development, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Fort Lauderdale."

    Goodson still has that glossy book, but nothing else. Trump International Hotel and Tower was a failure.

    The project fell victim to the property slump that hit South Florida in 2008. Two years later, the failed tower was in foreclosure and no longer bore the signature name. Donald J. Trump, it turns out, was not the developer. He had licensed his name and signed on to manage the hotel. When the project developer ran out of money, Trump took his name and walked away.

    Goodson walked away with nothing to show for his $345,000 deposit and a lesson in Trump properties: When purchasing a Trump development, you better read the fine print.

    It turns out all Donald J. Trump properties are not the same. Trump has become hugely successful building a worldwide brand synonymous with the very best in luxury living. Though Trump does in fact build many of his signature properties, he and his family have made a fortune simply licensing his name. [more]
For more, including the video of the CNN news report, and highlights of a Donald Trump deposition, see Buying a Trump? Better read the fine print.

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