Trump faces legal woes at Tampa project

Miami /
Nov.November 13, 2009 04:55 PM

Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump is facing litigation from a group of 30 buyers who allege he misrepresented his stake in a $220 million luxury condominium project in downtown Tampa that failed after the development partners went into bankruptcy.

In a state lawsuit filed Tuesday in Hillsborough County, Fla., the buyers allege that in 2005, Trump presented himself as an active investor in the 190-unit Trump Tower Tampa, while hiding a confidential million licensing deal, in which Trump was would earn a $4 million fee, plus 50 percent of future net earnings by Tampa-based SimDag/Robel, the lead development firm.

“They were specifically targeted by Trump’s promotional [team] that Trump was building the tower,” said Daniel Clark, an attorney with Clark & Martino, one of two firms representing the buyers.

After Trump repeatedly stated that he had a stake in the project, the licensing deal was disclosed in a 2007 media report.

The buyers were told the project would be done by December 2008, however SimDag filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2008 after the Florida real estate market collapsed and it fell behind on millions of dollars in contractor fees and other payments. The Trump Tower site was later sold off to new owners in an auction.

Trump officials denied the allegations.

“The allegations are without merit. Mr. Trump was not the developer of the project, did not enter into contracts with any of the buyers and did not receive deposits from any of the buyers,” said Alan Garten, assistant general counsel at the Trump Organization.

“Mr. Trump licensed the use of his name to the developer, Simdag/Robel LLC, to brand the project — no different than any other luxury real estate brand. This was clearly disclosed to the buyers in both the purchase contracts they signed and the property reports they received, each of which expressly identified Simdag/Robel LLC as the project’s developer and seller of the units.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Donald Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr with 1125 South Ocean Boulevard (Premier Estate Properties, Getty)
Trump’s Palm Beach estate listed for rent asking $208K a month
Trump’s Palm Beach estate listed for rent asking $208K a month
A photo illustration of prominent guests at the Witkoff wedding (via Instagram)
Nuptials Mar-a-Lago style: Donald Trump, Don Peebles, Barry Sternlicht among real estate elite at Witkoff wedding
Nuptials Mar-a-Lago style: Donald Trump, Don Peebles, Barry Sternlicht among real estate elite at Witkoff wedding
Donald Trump and Grant Cardone (Cardone Enterprises)
Presidential surprise: Donald Trump kicks-off Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Conference
Presidential surprise: Donald Trump kicks-off Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Conference
Donald Trump and The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Trump’s toilet triumph: Guests of the former No. 1 will have more places to go No. 2
Trump’s toilet triumph: Guests of the former No. 1 will have more places to go No. 2
New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago (iStock)
As rent explodes nationally, Miami tops the charts
As rent explodes nationally, Miami tops the charts
Derek Jeter and his Tampa mansion (Getty, Smith & Associates Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International)
Jeter sells waterfront Tampa estate for record $23M
Jeter sells waterfront Tampa estate for record $23M
Eric and Lara Trump with 502 Bald Eagle Drive in Jupiter (Getty, Google Maps)
Trump town: Eric and Lara buy home near Don Jr. in Jupiter
Trump town: Eric and Lara buy home near Don Jr. in Jupiter
Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Jeffrey Soffer and former President Donald Trump (Ebyabe/Wikipedia, Getty, iStock)
Gambling portability a no-go in Florida this year for Jeffrey Soffer, Trump
Gambling portability a no-go in Florida this year for Jeffrey Soffer, Trump
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...