| NEW YORK, June 26
NEW YORK, June 26 While much of United States
bemoans its weak dollar, property mogul Donald Trump is cashing
in as foreign investors take advantage of the greenback's woes
to buy luxury New York lodgings at a discount.
Trump's latest venture, the 45-floor Trump Soho Hotel
Condominium, which is due to be completed next year, has
attracted buyers from all around the world, with investors from
Spain, Italy and Britain accounting for about 40 percent.
"It's largely foreign buyers," said Donald Trump Jr., vice
president for development and acquisitions for the Trump
Organization, which is headed by his father.
While New York always tends to attract more foreign buyers
than real estate in other U.S. cities, Trump Jr. said sales of
the Soho venture were definitely helped by the weak dollar.
"It's great for us in high-end real estate. People in the
UK, people in Europe are buying at a 30 to 40 percent discount
to what would be normal currency exchanges," he told reporters
from mostly British publications at a press conference with his
sister Ivanka and brother Eric, also Trump vice presidents.
The Soho Hotel's 413 suites, which start at about $1.2
million, are being bought outright but unlike a typical
residence, owners can only stay in the units themselves for a
maximum of 120 days a year, due to local zoning laws.
Owners can opt to recoup some of the purchase price by
renting out the suite for the remainder of the year.
About 60 percent of the units had already been sold,
according to Ivanka Trump, who said the project had seen
constant demand since sales began in September.
Buyers include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a player for Italian
soccer team Inter Milan, according to Sara Clephane, director
of sales for the project.
Aside from amenities like an outdoor garden, a private
library and "round-the-clock white-glove service," the Trumps
also point out that the high-rise building's views will likely
remain unique for residences in trendy Soho, where buildings
are typically no higher than eight floors.
Since Trump won planning permission on the condition that
the building remain a transient residence, the city has changed
its zoning laws so that nobody else is likely to be able to
build a high-rise in the area, Trump Jr. said.
(Editing by Michelle Nichols and Eric Walsh)