Gil Dezer takes us inside his Trump shrine

The developer behind Residences by Armani/Casa on his firm’s project pipeline, settling arguments with toy tanks and spritzing with Donald Trump: The Fragrance

Jun.June 17, 2019 11:00 AM

Gil Dezer (Photos by Sonya Revell)

Ride the elevator along with swimsuit-clad hotel guests to the 31st floor of Trump International Beach Resort and you’ll find the headquarters of Dezer Development. Hidden within the full-floor suite at 18001 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach is a winding staircase that leads to the adjoining lairs of Gil Dezer, 44, and his father Michael Dezer, 78.

With a large patio from which he can watch his towers rise, Gil’s office is partly a testament to the company’s history of development in South Florida and partly a shrine to Donald Trump.

For nearly two decades, Dezer Development has helped transform the oceanfront on Collins Avenue, often creating towers that carry the Trump name through licensing agreements. Among Dezer’s projects are the Trump Grande, consisting of Trump International, Trump Palace and Trump Royale; Trump Towers I, II and III; and Porsche Design Tower.

The company is currently focusing on finishing Residences by Armani/Casa, which it is developing with the Related Group and Rockpoint Group. The 56-story condo tower is expected to be completed in November. Dezer is also redeveloping the Intracoastal Mall in North Miami Beach, which could be a decade-long project, he said. It is zoned for 2,000 residences and 600,000 square feet of retail.

And other projects are on the horizon. Dezer Development owns four other oceanfront sites on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach that it plans to redevelop, including the Travelodge Monaco Beach Resort and the Days Hotel by Wyndham Thunderbird Beach Resort.

“We’re probably the only developer in town that can keep going for the next 25 years without buying anything else,” Dezer said.

Here are some of Dezer’s favorite — and kitschiest — items in his office.

Toy tanks

Dezer and his colleagues play with the remote controlled tanks, shooting each other with lasers. “If we have an argument, we settle it with tanks,” he said.

Concrete pump

The miniature concrete pump was given to Dezer as a memento by C&C Concrete Pumping. Dezer uses the company’s pumps for all its projects.

Monopoly – Dezer Florida Edition

The game was given to Dezer many years ago by Matthew Mark, the company’s former general manager in New York who has since passed away, so it holds special significance, Dezer said.

Shovels
The shovels, mounted above the door to Dezer’s office, were used for the groundbreakings of Ocean Grande, in July 2000; Ocean IV, in October 2004; and Porsche Design Tower, in April 2013.

Donald Trump doll

The doll, a likeness of a suit-wearing Trump, was given to Dezer while Trump was on “The Apprentice.” When you push a button on its back, it speaks.

Fragrances

Dezer has bottles of Donald Trump: The Fragrance and Porsche Design Fragrance. He sometimes spritzes himself “before a meeting, if you need to smell good,” he said.

A collage of photos from Miss Universe from 2002

When Dezer first started working with Trump, the now-president invited him to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to attend the Miss Universe pageant.

Letter from Trump

The February 2002 letter to Michael Dezer from Trump has a handwritten postscript that says, “Gil will be a great success.”

Wells Fargo stagecoach

In 2011, amid the recession, Dezer Development paid off a $275 million mortgage from Wells Fargo for Trump Towers. Dezer had asked for a life-size stagecoach for his father’s car museum. “They said this is the consolation prize,” he said.


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