Donald Trump's Hollywood Condo Tower Looks Pristine, but Residents Say It's Anything But

Categories: Economy
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The view from the picture widows is so gorgeous that at first, it's all you notice. The sprawling condominium -- white floors, white walls, white ceiling -- opens in a glass rectangle over a white balcony that frames the ocean and sky, two strips of rippled blue glowing in the last diffusions of sunlight, uncomplicated by money, cars, or people: a perfect tableau.

Life at the Trump Hollywood goes downhill from there. 

The first sign that something is wrong comes when you pull up and the valet doesn't bother giving you a ticket ("There aren't many people here," explains an employee). Indeed, only a couple of dozen of the ivory-and-azure tower's 200 units seem to be occupied.

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Many of the units with owners are under construction, and this one -- modestly perched on the tenth of 41 floors -- is showing early signs of wear. 

A woman named Erin and her husband, who refused to be named and asked that we refer to him as "a nationally prominent physician" (which he is, though some of his critics might substitute "infamous" for "prominent"), rented the ice-slick space for a whopping $8,000 a month, for six months.

They rented the apartment from Francisco Bernat, president of Mexico's Puebla soccer team who was arrested last year for fraud involving 30 million pesos. The charges were dropped after he sold his share of the team to co-owner Ricardo Henaine. Anyhoo, he still owns the three-bedroom condo at the Trump Hollywood, which has an assessed value of $1.6 million.

In November of last year, lenders foreclosed on the unsold condos in the building, which had been owned by the Related Group. The units were sold to BH3, a Miami-based firm. Meanwhile, Donald Trump distanced himself from the project, saying that he had licensed only his name and was not responsible for what happened there.

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​​Erin walks back to the laundry room, where the dryer is installed in such a manner that it prevents opening the apartment's second door, required by fire codes. A strong breeze blows through the open balcony doors and through the apartment; where hallways doors have slammed shut, flimsy door frames are split open. 

On the balcony, she points down to a lovely pool area where the day's towels are still draped over chaise longues. She explains that a television blares all night on the patio, keeping her and her husband awake -- the couple has reported these problems to management and received encouraging replies, but she's not convinced the annoyances are going to stop.

The water pressure stinks. The kitchen cabinets are awkwardly designed. Construction noise from neighboring condos starts at 7:20 in the morning. There are no trash cans by the elevators or in the building's public spaces.

"I know some people might say, 'Look where you live -- what are you complaining about?'" says Erin. But the building is understaffed, and the annoyances persist. "I want to warn other people," she explains. The lack of neighbors only increases the frustration: There's no feeling of camaraderie here.

Erin walks through a nearly-empty parking garage, where luxury vehicles are stationed in a few spots, and out to the beach, where a cement ramp ends abruptly over the sand, as if construction were never finished. She says the ramp used to end in sharp pebbles, which somebody finally cleared to the side.

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Inside the lobby, a vast space with 30-foot ceilings holds a few blocky couches, some lamps, furry carpets, and a water sculpture. Upon closer inspection, it's a ruse: The couches have not been sat upon; the carpet is untrammeled. The cords for the lamps are carefully rolled up and placed below the tables, nowhere near an outlet.

It's a luxury Potemkin village. Opulence for nobody.

As she heads to the locker room to demonstrate the sauna that doesn't work (but does emit a loud buzz that shakes the peace in the adjacent massage room), Erin says there have been a couple of parties here, celebrations of the building in which hosts passed out cocktails and hors d'oeuvres under the carefully designed lighting, passing through clouds of perfume sprayed around the elevators. 

Now they're gone, and so is Donald Trump. Only a skeleton crew remains, daily scrubbing and dusting this $355 million boondoggle, the latest in a series of monuments to Trump's name. And a name is all there is. The rest is just reality.


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Angelrealtor104
Angelrealtor104

I just visited the Trump Hollywood today  by invitation to an open house and I saw 6 units , one of them the penthouse with overlooking views of Diplomat Hotel, ocean and south beach and Miami skyline plus intercoastal waterway. I have some european clientele that may purchase some units. I am enchanted with the treatment I received by the concierge and valet personel , the amenities, views and the concept of dimension for a highrise contemporary living. I wont hesitate to promote and recommend that building to buyers from all over the World. Sincerely,                      Angel Calzadilla  http://angelrealtor.southflori...

Erin
Erin

It doesn't count when you're a realtor for units in the building. Kind of similar to a slum lord saying "gee these units in compton are beautiful!" i went there and it was gorgeous! Oh wait, i sell units there. doesn't count.

Guest
Guest

Wow Angel a little shameless self promo. Don't give me that shit how great it is there - you'd sell me a ghetto shit hole in Little Cubano or in the barrio (same difference)  Good luck with the Dump.. Nice link to your site. Not

Adios Amigo

Guest
Guest

NO surprise this thief is in the NEWS again! When will he be arrested and shut down and deported to back where he CAME from!? (not here)  How is this even LEGAL? - Jorge Perez DEMANDS 70% down on new condos just down the road from failed Dump Hollywood where he NEVER returned the deposits and was taken to court for this behavior!  Someone deport this THIEF now!!!  Condo vultures (another piece of work) says that he's just trying to secure the place? what so he can run off with the peoples' money again? he should be locked up but why should we pay? DEPORT him now ! http://articles.sun-sentinel.c...

Harry
Harry

I bought after the place went belly up. Yes I got a good deal and granted, those people might have lost their deposits (or shirts as someone said) but that's how it goes and survival of the fittest. Now I have an amazing place and view and am planning on getting into shape at that gym and using the sauna which is fixed after a few years thanks to our pain in the ass tenants. I'm glad I bought here and the dumb people who bought before it went bankrupt. Their loss!

Angelrealtor104
Angelrealtor104

I see easily that Mrs. Erin is the typical complainer that complaints about everything for nothing. Is obvious that a brand new construction building is always under a long process of adjustments till the last unit is sold and occupied. Why Mrs. Erin did not apply a little dosis of common sense and rented in any other fully occupied luxury condominium in the area ?  I think she has to self-analyze her conciousness for not addopting the right decision  instead of bitching for the minimal disagreament about Trump Hollywod.

Erin
Erin

Kind of like Hitler defending concentration camps. Doesn't work when you own or work for the company OR in your case a realtor that sells units. Duh

Clicclic
Clicclic

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach....

another negative article that I LOOOVE (thank u New times! :) about whore-hey Perez the loser who built the trump dump and lost it) Also trying to tear down a fine building and make the highest tallest high rise?  Whore-hey.. i hope in the end you are prosecuted!

Clicclic
Clicclic

 wow big article "Trump failed, Would you buy an apartment from this man!?"http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Harry Polsky
Harry Polsky

Clicclic, why don't you use your real name? Oh I know why cause you're internet tough. Pussy!! Trump has NOTHING to do with our building. He doesn't own it, didn't build it etc....As far as Jorge Perez is concerned; why are you bashing him? Do you know him? Ever met him? People who Judge others are people with their own issues. They see those issues in others and it triggers them, so they lash out. So Judge yourself privatley cause we don't care. The man (whom I don't know) took risks (capitalism) employed thousands over the years and when things turned sour........he lost. That's called "BUSINESS" Sadly, while you make fun of his misfortune, you forget about all the painters, electricians, drywall guys, concrete guys, secretaries, and other hard working folks WHO LOST THEIR JOBS!!  Just once look at the "big picture" and quit focusing on the "dot" On a final note, why not use yet 1 more alias. I suggest "Your Honor" cause u are certanly the JUDGE!

cc
cc

 hairyif capitalism is not giving their people their security deposits on buildings that FAIL and leaving them empty handed after taking advantage of them then I guess he's a good guy (NOT) Nearla ll the articles on him and Dump are negative. I'm taking you bought AFTER the bankruptcy. I feel sorry for the people who bought before (your few neighbors) or ones who had to lose their deposits after the market (and BUILDING) went downhill. How do you sleep with yourself at night?

Clicclic
Clicclic

Wall Street Journal does a piece about Trump going bankrupt. Yikes! two bad ones in one day. . All because of New Times I bet. i n case the link doesnt work i copy pasted story below.

http://online.wsj.com/article/...

Trump Hollywood leaves a bad taste in your mouth

Miami Magnate Is Rebuilding Jorge Pérez Is Buying, Planning New Projects Amid a Glut He Helped Create

Article

By ROBBIE WHELAN Jorge Pérez, the "condo king of Miami," has had a bad couple of years. He struggled with a multitude of lenders and buyers, gave up properties and lost more than $1 billion of his personal net worth. Now, he is attempting a comeback even as Miami's condo market continues to suffer from the glut Mr. Pérez helped create. He purchased a dozen development sites in the last year, snatched up distressed real estate and is even planning new projects. "What goes up must come down," Mr. Pérez says. "This is true. But the opposite is also true."

View Full ImageBloomberg News 'The crash changed me,' says Related Group's Jorge Pérez

Mr. Pérez's attempt at a comeback marks the latest chapter in the colorful career of one of Miami's best-known businessmen, philanthropists and political fund-raisers. He is an avid art collector, hangs out with celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Gloria Estefan and is a regular in courtside seats at Miami Heat basketball games. Mr. Pérez's deals also are a reminder of the resilience of some real-estate developers who have been able to find money to start doing deals even as the housing market is still hurt by the downturn. In his case, he has been able to continue to find partners and draw on some $1 billion of his own wealth.A group led by Mr. Pérez's Related Group and Florida real-estate developers Jimmy Tate and Sergio Rok were expected to close this week on a deal under contract to buy the note on the Omni International Mall complex in downtown Miami, which includes a 500-room Hilton hotel and 420,000 square feet of office space nearby, according to people familiar with the matter. At the same time, Mr. Pérez has his eye on new construction. Even with 5,000 unsold condominium units in Miami, Mr. Pérez plans to break ground before the end of the year on two projects, with the help of $100 million of his own money that he has contributed to his company in the past year, he says. Mr. Pérez's rebound is far from a sure thing. Condos in some parts of South Florida are selling for as little as half of what they went for at the peak of the market and conventional bank financing remains scarce. Related has cut prices at its buildings by as much as 60% and faces lawsuits from hundreds of buyers seeking the return of their deposits. Some of those would-be buyers aren't thrilled with Mr. Pérez's comeback. "They said they didn't give me money back because they're undercapitalized," says Joseph Ferrelli, a retired garment wholesaler who is suing Related to get back a $195,000 deposit on a unit at Mr. Pérez's Trump Towers project in Sunny Isles Beach. "Before they start building again, I want my 200 grand back."Related has argued it is under no obligation to return entire deposits to buyers like Mr. Ferrelli. But it has settled dozens of these types of cases.Mr. Pérez, 61 years old, still has vacation homes in Utah and Uruguay, a private jet and a Maserati GranTurismo. But he acknowledges that the downturn has taken a toll. "Of course the crash changed me," he says. "One becomes distinctly aware of one's vulnerability regardless of the amount of planning."

View Full Image

Mr. Pérez claims to have a sound strategy for developing and selling condos in the face of a glut of some 5,000 condos still on the market. He hopes to capitalize on interest from Latin American and European real-estate investors, who are slowly but steadily buying the city's unsold inventory. Related also plans to finance much of its new projects by unconventional means, requiring buyers to pay more than 70% of the cost of building their condos before closing, instead of just a 20% down payment on the property, as was typical in the past.Mr. Pérez has to pursue unorthodox financing strategies because conventional lenders are in no hurry to make new loans. Mr. Pérez, who developed more than 15,000 units during the boom years, still carries bruises from his many battles with his lenders during the bust. At the Trump Hollywood, for example, HSBC foreclosed on the property late last year and sold its $227 million mortgage note to a Florida developer for $180 million.A former urban planner for the city of Miami, Mr. Pérez dreamed of transforming Miami into a 24-hour city with restaurants and night life downtown. He brought a new level of luxury to the market catering to upscale professionals, professional athletes and celebrities. For two of his projects, he licensed the Trump name from Donald Trump.But when the buyers vanished, he had four major projects underway, with over $2 billion in debt. Mr. Pérez went through three years of restructuring talks and fights with creditors. Among his most painful was turning over to lenders two of his most high-profile projects: Icon Brickell and Trump Hollywood. To pay off creditors, Mr. Pérez also had to sell hundreds of condos from previous projects at steep discounts. Around the same time, Mr. Pérez was found to have a golf-ball-size tumor on his pancreas, which later turned out to be benign but which required surgery and a difficult recuperation period."He was depressed at the time, seeing a billion dollars of net worth coming off the table," says Stephen Ross, the billionaire New York real-estate investor and partner of Mr. Pérez.Mr. Pérez's health has returned and now he also is trying to restore his fortune. He acknowledges he overreached: "Was [condo development in Miami] too fast? Yes. From a personal economic point of view, it was definitely too fast."

Guest
Guest

Don't get me started on Jorge Perez who won't give people back their money while he builds NEW condos after helping RUIN the market!? OMG. sick. By the way the people who rent at the Trump are smart! They won't be stuck with a sinking ship like the rest of the suckers.

Guest
Guest

@RN...You sure Know how to beat a dead horse. Why would You be so cruel to owners there. Why do You blame people who bought when prices were high. As You say, everyone who did this is a "sucker", (You realize You are accusing a very large population of buyers all around the U.S). ...and why would you say people who rent at trump are smart. I thought the whole slant of the article was quite to the contrary. Obviously You have some other agenda.

Clicclic
Clicclic

Guest- Granted people who bought there (after the market failed mind you) might be "suckers" but I don't think they expected it to get worse ("they" all kept telling us in media it was going to get better - even the experts) But I think RN is actually getting Jorge Perez's case for taking advantage of the people who put down payments AND the people who paid the rest of it and might lose money (or are losing money on it)  Others have posted that renting is smart (and I'd have to agree) because they get all the luxuries of these buildings (or some non luxuries at Trump) and are able to leave after 4 to 6 months and not have any long term investment. Many sites have said the renters are the smartest. Sadly I owned and yes it would be easier if I did not.... I'm sure some of the owners at the Trump (as his name gets slimier by the day)  feel the same.

Guest
Guest

Oh...and BTW, it was Your article that stated the value at 1.6 mil..

RN
RN

and next month about 1.1

Clicclic
Clicclic

As an owner of property in Florida I must say, despite all your arguing, that rents aren't what they used to be. I see penthouses being rented for a fraction of what they should get. We're in an economic crisis and sadly the rents just seem to get lower (as do the values)

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

All I can say is this. For people who live or own in the same building, they seem to be complaining more at each other instead of management who would be the people in charge of fixing it.

It really shouldn't matter if you own or rent. If it is broken, it stands to reason that it benefits all if it is fixed.

I own my place, but I used to rent. If something is broken, I dont yell at the neighbors, I just get it fixed. Whether it is something I need to get done or, as in my past, the management, broke is broke.

I know, I am being far too rational and level headed about this.

Guest
Guest

Dr Pepper- The most sense I have ever heard from anyone ON this thread. Watched a couple of the videos too. The management sure is weird not to fix these little things and solve a BIG problem on their hands.

Guest
Guest

The biggest problem will be solved, at least for us in Hollywood, when the renters leave.Soon I hope. God Bless their next destination.

Guest
Guest

You can always just sweep your problems there under the rug. Sadly i doubt they'll do the same. probably good advice as several others suggested to get management to fix them before this story goes viral and your building remains empty for a REALLY long time.

AK
AK

Harry, I would be a bit more cautious. I hear that doc is a bit of a survivalist and has taken many self defense courses in which he was trained to kill people in three seconds or less. Also heard he has a Florida concealed weapons permit and most importantly has been a history of using his legal team to sue for libel. Just be careful out there Harry. Maybe we can meet and discuss further. Just wouldn't want to see a fellow owner get hurt.

Harry Polsky
Harry Polsky

I don't recall mentioning anyone by name AK.

Guest
Guest

Harry it probably stands for AK47 ;)

Guest
Guest

Harry, You have been a gentleman and one of the few sane posters. AW (alias Doc) posted that.

Guest
Guest

Yes except that Hairy says 'it'll be fixed when it's fixed" and makes excuses for a dumb little part for a sauna broken since at least last year (did it ever work) He has been nice but when I saaw that I'm like C'mon. why make excuse for the Dump?

Diogenes
Diogenes

Pompous, swaggering, stupid and threatening. plus I smell krill oil and rogaine... Meet Joe Mercola...trying to be anonymous and failing miserably.

Jacltd
Jacltd

This is now officially the longest 6 month lease in modern times. Could someone do the math and tell me when the party is?

Clicclic
Clicclic

 sounds like your excited for your Mexican neighbor who owns the place to come back now that he's out of JAIL! Nice neighbors jackoff...

Jacltd
Jacltd

Although I have never met the gentleman and I do not think much about his screening process for renters, it is a step in the right direction.  By the way, didn't your mother ever tell you that it is impolite to call people names.

guest
guest

Hilarous! I'd love to come to the party, but I wouldn't want to meet those renters. They sound just plain Nasty. I'll come to the after party! I wonder it they will be sued for leaving all of the doors open.

Guest
Guest

$266. per night during season here in S. Florida, is NOT considered High End. cheap cheap cheap cheap

Guest
Guest

Just like the dump

Guest
Guest

Ya per NIGHT .. Not when you are doing six months. This is just the beginning. I'm going to be listing other more affordable places in the area that are much cheaper that didn't go bankrupt. This is just one many more articles to come. So you might want to get your manager in gear. They were warned beforehand and did nothing incidentally and said don't go to the press. Still sauna was blaring etc...

krillkiller
krillkiller

Its amazing how many people hear a television in an empty building.

AK
AK

I live in thebuilding as well. I am here right now. I have never posted before. Check my IPif you don't believe me. I don't see why my neighbors would solely pick on therenters when all they want is a fixed are a cheap sauna and door frames.Also they mention a lack of garbage cans (like hardly any and none by theelevators or outside areas!) I have to say while going to the papersmight be extreme I do agree and don't see why the management won't just dothese simple things. The cost is minimal (and obviously we can't just sit outcans ourselves like where we come in at the garage or at the main lobby) Seemslike Harry you have misplaced anger. Why wouldn't you ask management to fixthese little things? You don't live here yet and know what it's like.Can't you see the arrogance of management just blatantly refusing to do thesesimple things that were brought up time and time again? Blasting TV outside (if you're on the 11th floor you'll hear it if it's still left on when you movein) These aren't expensive fixes. It's like attacking the whistle blower whenthe culprit is management. Fix the SIMPLE problems and maybe there won't be tenmore national articles about this place that we have to endure! Please! (I'veasked management about some of these points too. Since it's been going on sincelast year maybe they just don't care... I could see if the decor of thewhole place were being attacked (it's not) or the look of the building butthese are simple things. Are you going to deny they exist Harry? And how wouldyou even know when you don't EVEN LIVE HERE YET? Go have a man to man withmanagement and fix it so these articles stop

Harry Polsky
Harry Polsky

There is a right way to bring something to managements attention and there is a wrong way. When people (2) use blogs to whine about things which could be discussed like normal people.........that is wrong. Now let's talk about the womans sauna; It is my understanding that there is a faulty part which has been brought to the attention of the company which installed it. The part will be replaced when it is replaced. Yelling, screaming, blogging will not make it occur any sooner. Sorry but temper tantrums don't warrant the lollipop. Many issues have been brought to the NEW owners attention, most minor. Just like ANY NEW building. Sort of like a punch list on a new home. There was no basketball hoop, now there is. We needed better beach lounge chairs, their due in at anytime. In Florida if you sleep with your windows open you will invariably end up with mold and mildew problems. That is just common sense for people who have that. Lastly AK, I don't take kindly to threats. In this state threatening to do harm by someone with a concealed weapon permit is the same as brandishing your firearm and very much against the law. I know since I have taken the course and they told us that. I have written the writer of the article and hope very much that he contact me to visit the building with myself and get the "other viewpoint" which in my mind should have been done to begin with. It may be worth mentioning that since January my understanding is about 40 units have been sold to some very successful people who are over joyed by the property.

Guest
Guest

ok i wrote up above that Hairy wouldn't answer about the building's issues. I eat my words as I see he did here (way too many posts to keep up with) Harry you say "Now let's talk about the womans sauna; It is my understanding that there is a faulty part which has been brought to the attention of the company which installed it. The part will be replaced when it is replaced" Dude! in that kind of nice ass building you're telling me i will be replaced when it will be replaced? We're not talking like they have to replace the roof or redo the pool. It's a damn sauna part! why would it take TRUMP months (according to the article) to fix such a thing? it'll be fixed when it'll be fixed? C'mon. I had a tiny studio apt years ago and they fixed the sauna the same week. It's not tolerable to wait months in a place that high end. WHY would you stick up for them!? I believe you really live there (or are going to) but geesh. Granted no one ever said they were BIG issues. That's the whole point! Unfinished sidewalks and a little part in a sauna and some garbage cans? get the fat guy in gear and get them fixed! I don't get this and obviously it's not ALL one person saying the same thing.. I mean people are now writing about gun permits and crazy stuff. Whoever posted it.. Just get it fixed instead of them going "viral" with it like they (or others or whoever is posting on here) says they're going to do. Isn't that easier!??!?

Guest
Guest

Actually is is grounds to revoke his CW permit., and it is against the law.

Harry Polsky
Harry Polsky

I'm done. If you don't like it don't rent next year and heaven forbid, don't buy. I want you to be happy so I suggest that next season you rent elsewhere. This way you'll be happy.

Guest
Guest

...and we'll all be Happy!

Guest
Guest

@ swampbrain. The article states the value of the unit is 1.6 mil.. You do the math. maybe the doc can give u a vitamin for your braincells.

Guest
Guest

I have news or you Dump tenant.. Over TWENTY percent of residences in Flori DUH are sitting empty and no one is paying the percentage they should on rents. No one is paying that much no matter WHAT it's valued at and it'll just go down next year. Just like your IQ

Guest
Guest

Wifey, I have seen a whole new side to You. You are vicious mean sneaky, pompous, egotistical and just plain immature...and.... You are definitely not very bright. We know who You are each and every time You post with a different name. You are miserable and have to make sure everyone else is too. I suggest some serous therapy.

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