Bankruptcy calls an end to Trump Tower construction
It was supposed to be 52-storey luxury condominium tower with dramatic waterfront views of Tampa’s Hillsborough River. But the Trump Tower Tampa never lived up to its hype. On Tuesday, the project’s developer, Simdag/Robel LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Tampa, Florida courts.
The Trump Tower Tampa was kicked off in 2005 with much fanfare. Donald Trump, the project’s namesake, made a personal appearance to the site to kick off sales of the project’s 190 units. But despite record sales, the project fell into financial trouble very early on. Delayed by soils issues, the project’s developer tried to secure $200 million in financing at a time when the luxury condominium market in Florida was starting to implode. Adding insult to injury, the company reneged on its agreement to pay Donald Trump $1 million dollars for naming rights to the project. When that money was not forthcoming, Trump filed suit against Simdag for the unpaid licensing fees, a move that has set the bankruptcy filing in motion.
Hampered with scheduling and financial issues and mounting lawsuits the project is all but dead. The project’s web site has been taken down and the phone has been disconnected. The bankruptcy filing lists $10 to $50 million in liabilities, many to condo buyers who gave SimDag deposits ranging up to $1.6-million. A detailed list of creditors, including Trump, Colonial Bank and various building contractors, will be made public in approximately two weeks.