The Real Deal Miami

Donald Trump files suit over Fort Lauderdale condo hotel

Trump claims he lost millions over the scuttled project, now the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach

June 04, 2015 01:30PM

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Rendering of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Ft. Lauderdale and Donald Trump

Rendering of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Ft. Lauderdale and Donald Trump

Donald Trump has reportedly sued the developer of a condo hotel in Fort Lauderdale, which fell into foreclosure and allegedly cost his company millions.

The project in question is now known as the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, at 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. It was formerly called the Trump International Hotel & Tower Fort Lauderdale before it fell into a web of litigation against both Trump and the project’s builder.

Trump had signed a licensing and management agreement to run the hotel, while builder Roy Stillman and his firm SB Hotel Associates developed the property, a publication reported.

Four years after the agreement was signed, Stillman realized his construction financing wasn’t enough to complete the project, and the lender wouldn’t agree to a bigger loan.

He stopped construction, fired the hotel employees and gave condo buyers a deadline to close on their units, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

Lawsuits from buyers looking to get their money back quickly followed, but a large chunk of the deposits had been spent on construction.

The suits named both Trump and Stillman. He warned Stillman not to settle any of the suits unless they also released Trump from liability. However, Stillman allegedly settled the suits with escrow funds anyway, while the litigation continued against Trump, the publication reported.

Now, Trump is suing for a breach of contract, claiming Stillman costed him millions over the failed project and legal fees, and also damaged his reputation.

The development was purchased by CFLB Partnerships for $115 million in 2013, and turned it into the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach. It is slated to open in September. [South Florida Business Journal] — Sean Stewart-Muniz