Trump profited from sales of Sunny Isles condos to foreign buyers

Candidate's real estate career could translate into policy changes if elected

TRD MIAMI /
Oct.October 14, 2016 03:30 PM

It’s no secret that presidential hopeful Donald Trump has a less-than-favorable position on immigrants coming to the U.S.

But years before he started down the campaign trail, Trump was helping sell Sunny Isles Beach condos to the same demographic he now bashes — foreigners.

The real estate tycoon was brought on by Michael Dezer in 2004 to brand a three-building development in Sunny Isles with 813 luxury condos, which would later be known as the Trump Towers.

According to the Miami Herald, Trump’s branding agreement meant his organization would help market the condos, earning a fee for every preconstruction unit sold. The actual sales were left to Dezer’s team.

Those units were then sold to a host of wealthy foreigners: by the Herald’s count, 41 percent of unit owners in the three towers are Latin America, 20 percent are Americans, 7 percent are Russian and 5 percent are Canadian. Separately, more than 60 percent of Trump Tower unit owners are hidden behind opaque offshore companies.

How much Trump actually raked in from the branding agreement is unknown, the Herald reported, as the candidate has repeatedly refused to reveal his tax returns, citing ongoing audits from the IRS. The Real Deal recently published an interactive guide to where the Republican nominee’s fortunes come from.

Trump’s career as a real estate developer could translate into policy decisions if he’s elected.

Shell companies are ubiquitous in South Florida’s real estate market, prompting federal investigators to launch money laundering probes and the Obama administration to call for a closure of loopholes.

The federal investigation has had a chilling effect on local condo purchases, drying up the same pool of buyers that routinely purchase Trump-branded units, the Herald reported. That means the presidential hopeful is unlikely to champion stricter enforcement, former White House attorney Richard Painter told the Herald.

“It strikes me as hypocritical,” Richard Gordon, director of the Financial Integrity Institute, told the Herald. “He’s repeatedly made comments about immigrants bringing crime to the U.S. … [But] his principles appear to be doing whatever he can for himself to make money.” [Miami Herald] — Sean Stewart-Muniz


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Donald Trump at Trump National Doral (Credit: Getty Images)

Former members of Trump Doral may have to wait decades to get their deposits back

President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, Mar-A-Lago Club)

Trump properties in Palm Beach County could get $1.5M tax bill

Dmitry Rybolovlev, Donald Trump, and 5252 North Country Road (Credit: Getty Images)

Russian oligarch sells last piece of former Trump estate in Palm Beach for $37M

President Trump and Mar-a-Lago (Credit: Getty Images)

Revenue fell at Trump’s Palm Beach properties in 2018

Donald Trump and Trump Doral (Credit: Getty Images)

Trump Doral’s financial results falter due to Trump name: report

Jorge Pérez on building golf courses in Cuba with Trump, stepping down as president and more

Report: Trump demanded $20M in 2006 to put his name on a Moscow tower

Deutsche Bank refused Trump Organization’s 2016 request to increase loan for golf course

arrow_forward_ios