You might find this incredible, but there are people out there for whom the name “Trump,” plastered on a high-rise, is synonymous with “sky-piercing luxury and can’t miss-quality” – and not, say, overpriced cheesiness and phallic overcompensation. But, according to the New York Times, there are such people, and a bunch of them are pissed off at the Donald.
See, they broke the bank to buy properties in sky-piercing Trump buildings, only to discover they weren’t Trump buildings at all – the real developers had merely rented the Donald’s name, the better to build buzz and pump up prices. Trump, hefty fee in hand, played along, showing up at the properties and implying he was personally selecting each gold-plated faucet. (Well, not literally.)
Problem is, some of the properties went bust before they got anywhere near the sky, and now 300 owners, who lost millions of dollars on their faux-cheesy non-Trump condos, are suing their former idol for having deceived them.
But let’s get to the real point of the Times piece:
Mr. Trump’s Midas touch as a businessman, sometimes real, other times perceived, is central to his presidential aspirations, which have become increasingly hard for Republicans to ignore, even as some of them cringe at his blunt remarks and boastfulness. … “I have made myself very rich,” he said recently, sitting in his palatial suite at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. “And I would make this country very rich.”
But regardless of whether Mr. Trump ultimately seeks the presidency, his attempt to promote himself as a savvy financial manager who can lead America out of its economic rut is bringing new scrutiny to his own business practices.
This business of licensing his name to failed buildings has bitten Trump in the behind before, as we note in our photo gallery compendium of his business flops. An example: Trump was on hand 2006 for the ground breaking of a Trump Tower 52-story luxury apartment building that was going to redefine Tampa’s skyline. The project went bust in fairly short order. It later emerged that Trump wasn’t even a the developer of the tower. He recently told MSNBC: “It was just a licensing deal. … I licensed the name ‘Trump’ to those buildings.” Owners are suing him.