TRUMP TOWER OPEN FOR SALE
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Jim Davis, left, an interested buyer, with Sunnie Wang of Coldwell Banker and Micah VanDower of Trump International Hotel and Tower, listen to Trump pitch his new Waikiki project on video at the Trump Tower preview office.
Name-brand glitz top selling point for Trump Tower
The Waikiki project claims "overwhelming" interest in hotel rooms to average $2 million
The Trump International Hotel & Tower at Waikiki Beach Walk is now open, at the ANA Kalakaua building.
Around the corner from Planet Hollywood, the Trump Tower's sales preview center offers a miniature replica of the planned 38-story tower, a talk-story video board narrated by Donald Trump and a model kitchen.
Primary developer: Irongate
Sales and marketing: S&P Destination Properties
Project management: Brett Hill Management
Glass architect: Guerin Glass Architects
Architect: Benjamin Woo Architects
Interior design: SN Design/Suzanne Nessel
GROUNDBREAKING AND SALES
The Trump name and brand will play a large role in both the development and marketing of the hotel, which aims to be a five-star property when it is completed in 2009.
The project site, which is already being cleared, is at the intersection of Saratoga and Kalia roads in Outrigger's $460 million Waikiki Beach Walk project.
"I really love Waikiki and wanted to build here in the last 10 to 15 years," said Trump, with his signature comb-over and look-straight-at-the-camera style, in the recorded talk-story board. "Finally, we have the opportunity to do it."
Besides a suite of several outdoor glass elevators, the Trump Tower is expected to offer an infinity pool, full- service spa, cascading sixth-floor waterfall, pool cabanas, wine cellar, 24-hour front desk, fine dining and incredible attention to detail, according to the never-modest Trump.
The rooms come furnished, and will offer finishes in koa wood, granite and marble. Kitchens will come with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances.
The "carefully nuanced" tower, according to Trump, will be a "building with true Hawaiian soul" and have the "finest of everything."
On the final fifth-season episode of Trump's NBC show "The Apprentice" this summer, winner Sean Yazbeck opted to work on a New York hotel project for Trump over the development of the Waikiki Trump Tower.
S&P Destination Properties, which markets luxury projects, is handling sales of the Trump Tower.
A dozen sales agents already are fielding e-mails, calls and questions from about 25 visitors a day to the preview center, which opened its doors only two weeks ago, according to Corinne Huntress, director of sales for the Trump Tower.
She described the level of interest in the Trump Tower as "overwhelming," although reservations are not being taken for the 463 units until late next month. A few studios will be available, along with one-, two- and three-bedroom suites.
Prices range from just less than $500,000 to more than $5 million. The average price is about $2 million.
Already, there are phone calls from celebrities who want to be involved, she said, as well as "Trump loyalists" familiar with his other properties in Chicago and Las Vegas.
Buyers from California are a big market, as are buyers from Japan. There also are owners of luxury homes on Oahu who are interested in investing in a pied-a-terre in Waikiki.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Marsha Forsythe of the Realty Group talks with Micah VanDowe of Trump International Hotel and Tower next to a scale model of the Waikiki project.
Trump plays a central role in the marketing. Besides a film that is being produced now, the tag line is "One Trump. One Waikiki."
Trump, in a personal statement, calls the project "sensational in every way that one would expect a property of this caliber to be."
"I cannot imagine anyone not having the time of their lives at Trump Tower Waikiki," he said.
"The Trump name itself is going to make it a success," Huntress said. "The fact that they (the buyers) can own the most prestigious hotel in Waikiki and utilize it whenever they want is also a pretty good selling point."
Buyers of the units will be able to live in them full time or rent them out as hotel rooms.
An in-house hotel management team and program will be in place by the time the tower is open.
Reservations will require a 20 percent refundable deposit, followed by incremental 10 percent payments. Buyers need to be pre-qualified.
The reservation program will not be price- or unit-specific, according to Huntress, but will help guide serious buyers through the project's progress. Every buyer will get a tour of the property site, along with access to legal documents, preferred pricing and invitations to on-site VIP events.
A Realtors' event is scheduled this week, with 500 real estate agents expected to receive a preview brochure. Outside brokers are entitled to the standard 3 percent commission on the net sales price.
"We're selling a lifestyle," Huntress said. "Yes, this is a Trump tower and it's all about Waikiki, but it's also going to be about Hawaii. There will be an aloha spirit and high-end level of service and quality."
The marketing team is trying to capture the nostalgia of yesteryear Waikiki, reflecting the history of the area as a home to Hawaiian royalty.
Trump is scheduled to make a few appearances, though the schedule has not been finalized yet, Huntress said.
Sales, as well as a VIP party, are to start in November.
While the tower itself is expected to hold the high-quality standards of the Trump name, it is still going to be Hawaiian style, according to Huntress.
"It will be from the Art Deco period and be very refined," she said.