Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sorry, Donald -- not buying, at least not from you

The Tribune reports that The Donald and his brood are in town trying to pump up sales of Trump Tower Chicago. I love it. I'll give him this: Trump is a master showman. "[I]t's a great time to buy in our building because we aren't raising prices." Classic.

Apparently, roughly 1/4 of his units remain unsold, and I'll bet a nickel the building is approaching the break-even point, where the revenues from sales are sufficient to cover the financing and hard and soft costs, after which making each additional sale is almost pure profit. Thus the heavy push.

We'd like a little pied-à-terre in the city, but there's no way we'll ever buy from Trump. I wonder if buyers are starting to have some cold feet, as is sometimes the case on projects like this. (See generally the whole state of Florida.) Other potential buyers may be waiting to see how the Spire, a much more interesting and exciting building, will turn out. Still others may be waiting to buy after completion on the secondary market, in the hopes that they can avoid the typically one-sided deal in favor of the developer.

So why do I have absolutely zero sympathy for Trump? This is why.