Trump is not the project’s developer or even an investor; one of his partners, a Russian-born billionaire who got rich in Ukraine’s steel industry, controls the firm that’s in default. The Trump Toronto is still a posh hotel, and even though nearly two thirds of the tower’s condo units remain unsold, they’re still upscale residences. Still, the saga of the property’s glittering rise and rapid fall is classic Trump, featuring a tsunami of litigation and bitterness, money with a Russian accent, and a financial wreck that probably won’t hit its namesake particularly hard.
It is clear from affidavits in the fraud cases and the bankruptcy case that the buyers have taken a financial beating. A warehouse supervisor named Sarbjit Singh, who was earning about $55,000 a year, testified that he borrowed money from his father, a retired welder, for the deposit on his hotel unit; he never closed on the deal, but he says he still lost $248,000. Se Na Lee, a homemaker who was married to a mortgage underwriter, borrowed money for her deposit from her parents; she did close, and ended up losing $990,000 through December 2014, she says.
A judge later described Talon’s prospectus and other “deceptive documents” as “a trap to these unsurprisingly unwary purchasers,” and ruled that they could sue Trump as well as Talon.
There have been protests outside the building by union workers, women’s groups, and Muslim groups. The Trump brand is under siege, which has delayed the opening of a similar Trump-licensed hotel and condo project in Vancouver until after the election. The colorful mosaic celebrating multiculturalism at the entrance to Trump Toronto, titled A Small Part of Something Larger, now seems to clash with the nominee’s white-backlash message.
he can’t deny all responsibility for the failure of a Trump project, especially when the Trump Organization is running the Trump hotel. The project's partners, investors, and lenders all got a Trump Experience