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Trump to make India foray with Mumbai luxury tower

The Financial Express | The Times of India | Hindustan Times | Business Standard |

January 18, 2011


US billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump is entering the Indian property market with a luxury residential tower in Mumbai, more than two years after announcing plans to expand in the south Asian nation.

Trump, who has joined with Mumbai developer Rohan Lifescapes for his first venture in the country, expects to start marketing the project by March, said Donald Trump Jr, Trump’s son and executive vice-president at the Trump Organization LLC.

“We are doing a very luxury project with Rohan Lifescapes and we’ll be in India later this quarter to launch it officially,” Trump Jr said in a phone interview from New York on January 13. He declined to give further details on the project.

Donald Trump’s son said in a July 2008 interview he planned to set up a fund of as much as $1 billion to buy property in India. “The market place is beginning to understand and appreciate luxury, so there is a great opening for us there, as well as in resorts,” he said at the time.

Trump is hoping to take advantage of growing demand for luxury properties in a market with an increasing number of millionaires. India's wealthy may almost double their assets to $6.4 trillion over the next five years as economic growth swells their ranks, Credit Suisse said in its global wealth report released on October 8.

That has fanned demand for residences and homes designed by top designers such as Versace, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli among the well-heeled in major cities, said Mumbai-based Anand Narayanan, India director of Knight Frank LLP, a London-based real-estate broker.

"The next big trend in India is that of branded residences such as the Trump Towers and Versace Residences we see in other cities," said Narayanan.

The billionaire has branded buildings from skyscrapers in Manhattan to condominiums in Tijuana, Mexico, Trump World in the South Korean capital Seoul and the Trump Towers Istanbul.

The Trump development is being built on the site of a former hospital in south Mumbai, in a neighborhood dotted with jewellery stores, the only Porsche showroom in the city and next to a Mercedes showroom, said two people familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified before an official announcement.

Rohan Lifescapes focuses primarily on redevelopments. It has more than 60 projects spread across 54 sites, according to its website. It has developed more than 20 million sq ft of homes and offices and is currently developing 3.45 million sq f of projects in Mumbai.