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Japanese buy into Trump


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POSTED: Friday, June 19, 2009

The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Waikiki, which developers say is still on track for completion this fall, will have an Eastern sensibility.

More than half of the buyers of the 463 luxury suites are Japanese, according to Jason Grosfeld, a principal of Los Angeles-based Irongate, which is developing the property in partnership with Trump.

“;We were specifically targeting that market,”; said Grosfeld.

The buyers are either Japanese nationals or residents with ties to Japan. The demographic of the other buyers is from the West Coast, other international destinations and local families.

The Web site for the project is in both English and Japanese.

In November 2006, all units in the 38-story luxury tower were sold out in eight hours for more than $700 million. The sale took place simultaneously in Japan and Hawaii.

Buyers put down 20 percent to reserve the units, which ranged from studios to three-bedroom penthouses priced between $460,000 and $9 million.

Grosfeld said he's confident that those buyers will follow through for a target sales closing date of Sept. 1.

“;We've spoken to almost every single buyer at this point,”; said Grosfeld. “;We are confident that well over 95 percent of our buyers are moving toward closing.”;

As for the other 5 percent, he said the team had no confirmed data, but that some might be in personal financial distress, given the downturn in the economy.

The Trump Waikiki, currently under construction at the corner of Saratoga and Kalia roads, is being marketed as an ultra-luxury project that will offer a spa, a fitness center, a sixth-floor waterfall, an infinity pool and the signature services of Trump Attache.

All of the units will be furnished with custom furniture, according to Trump managing director Scott Ingwers. Besides granite and marble countertops and travertine floors, the gourmet kitchens will be outfitted with Wolf, Sub-Zero and Bosch appliances.

Pantries will be stocked with glassware, silverware, and cooking accessories, such as rice cookers and toasters.

“;All you need to do is show up with your toothbrush and you're ready to go,”; he said.

Grosfeld said that though the real estate market has shifted since the units were first sold three years ago, he's feeling confident in the project because of several key factors — location, location, location — and that the value of the condos will still hold.

The Trump Waikiki will occupy what he calls a “;golden quadrant”; that includes the Halekulani.

The completion of the Outrigger's $535 million redevelopment of Waikiki Beach Walk also has added to the value of the location, he said.

The tower isn't expected to open until the end of the year, but about a dozen units are being offered for rent by Ohana Beach Rentals Hawaii, a luxury rental company, for $350 to $700.