Trump licenses his name to residential project in Pune

Luxurious condominium project to be finished by 2015.

By American Bazaar Staff

NEW YORK: Real estate tycoon Donald Trump’s imprint is now going to reach Indian shores, as a 22-storied twin towers named as Trump Towers Pune, housing 44 luxurious single-floor condominiums, is coming up in Pune.

Being touted as Trump’s first foray into the Indian real estate market, the project, which is expected to be completed by 2015, has not yet announced its price, but has another celebrity’s name attached to it: actor and producer John Abraham, who is setting up a fitness center in the towers, under his JA Fitness franchise.  The towers are being developed by Pune’s leading real-estate developer Panchshil Realty.

According to Trump’s website, the project is going to be the epitome of luxury: “A pair of sleek ultra-modern towers that redefine the Pune skyline, Trump Towers Pune marks the entry of the Trump brand of luxury and elegance in India.” It adds: “All residences will have five bedrooms with an additional home theatre room and host a 360-degree view of Pune cityscape with the surrounding Aga Khan Palace and the lush green Jogger’s Park being prominent.

The towers will also house an exclusive art gallery showcasing contemporary art, private collections and exquisite jewelry, says the website.

The website also makes it clear that the project “is not owned, developed or sold by Trump, the Trump Organization or any of their principals or affiliates. It says Zero G Apartments Private Limited is the owner, developer and promoter of the property (in association with Premsagar Hotels Private Limited, Atul Chordia and Sagar Chordia), and uses the “Trump” name and mark under license from DT Marks Pune LLC, which license may be terminated or revoked according to its terms.”

An article in The Wall Street Journal discussed the fact that though Trump’s name is synonymous with a range of products, the one thing he has hasn’t licensed his name to since the economy took a nosedive in the US has been a US building. The last time he did so for a building in the US was in 2007, when he agreed to put it on the Trump Soho, a hotel-condo project in downtown Manhattan. He also sold his name to a golf resort in Puerto Rico in 2008.

In recent years, Trump has also licensed his name to more than a dozen real-estate developers in Turkey, the Caucasus, Brazil and other corners of the globe, said the Journal. He has also lent his name to a Trump-branded hotel and condominium tower in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

Apart from the Pune project, Trump has lent his name to condominiums, resorts and commercial centers in the Philippines and Azerbaijan.

“It’s not even a question of ego. It’s just that my name makes everything more successful,” Trump said in an interview to the Journal.

According to the Journal, in licensing deals, Trump sells developers the right to use his name for an upfront fee of between $5 million and $10 million. He also gets a portion of potential future sales, or in the case of hotels, a management contract.

Sagar Chordia, one of the developers of the Pune project, and a director with Panchshil, is quoted as saying in the Journal report: “Everyone wants to buy the best house. That’s the mentality. Everybody knows Trump. People have seen the Trump Tower in New York. Everybody watches ‘The Apprentice.’ “

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