The Trump International Hotel & Tower: A $200 Million Feeding Trough for Pigeons

Categories: Broward News
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Photos by Eric Barton
Tina has ocean views as she feeds her pigeons.


Tina has been feeding the pigeons on Fort Lauderdale beach long enough to know them by sight. There's the silver one with a white crown who's the alpha male, mating with all the females and getting the best crumbs. There's also the diva, a khaki-colored bird who stays to herself.

"I'll go down the beach and find her later," says Tina, who lives nearby and didn't want her last name used. "She's a picky one."

Cops sometimes give Tina a hard time if she feeds the birds, as she does daily along A1A. Tourists don't like to be crapped on, Tina knows, so she came up with a fine spot to feed her flock. Every morning, she heads to the Trump International Hotel & Tower. The unfinished skyscraper sits on the beach like an obelisk to the great recession.

Developers defaulted on a $139 million loan that they acquired in December 2006, just as
the housing bubble began deflating. Trump disavowed himself from the failed $200 million project. He merely leased his name to it, he claims, and had nothing to do with the construction. The bank foreclosed in March 2010. But even a foreclosure wasn't easy on a project this large -- at least 80 people who had put down deposits on unfinished condos stepped in to take a cut. Some had put down $300,000 that they'll likely never see again. The lawyers have been bickering ever since.

Whatever once grew in the planter boxes out front has long since shriveled to plant skeletons, and so every morning, Tina uses them to feed the pigeons.

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Tina counts the lifeguards as her allies, but she says cops give her a hard time for feeding the birds.


She gives them stale bread and off-brand Fruit Loops. A Canadian transplant, Tina says she didn't always have enough time to feed the birds. But she's working only part time now. "I don't have enough work," she said. "The economy isn't very good right now."

As she dumped the last crumbs from the bag of cereal, she excused herself politely. "I come out here every day," she said, walking past the cheap chain and sign blocking the Trump International's entrance. "Come out here again. You can have some of my bread to feed them."


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Eric Barton is editor of New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Email him here, or click here to follow him on Facebook.

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9 comments
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Boston Park Plaza Hotel

There are a few -- like the Freeway Patrol trooper who drawn me over once for "shadowing his speed" -- who are in the job to be dicks. But most of them breast their humps maintaining bad folks off the roads. 

cynical
cynical

There are a host of lawyers feeding on this pile of defication also and if I know Trump, he will end up with the building and the investors get the defication.

FQS9000
FQS9000

Seize it from the banks (they're scum, screw 'em).  Confiscate the deposits (those guys are rich, screw 'em).  Rename it the Barak Bowers.  Declare it a 'Beach Restoration' project.  Give it to the 'Occupy' idiots and see what a mess they make of it.  It'll provide constant amusement for years watching the 'Occupy' fools squabble and screw up.  Plus it'll get the 'Occupy' morons off public property.

I don't see a down side except for the suckers who actually lost money and according to liberal logic, those people are evil predators.

Obermann
Obermann

I think Wyclef Jean and Donald Turmp did the ribbon cutting and called themselves owners when it looked like this could be a successful project. 

glass slipper
glass slipper

Of course the cops harass her, they are nothing but uneducated goons who's only mission is to serve their corporate masters.

Most cops  are stupid, that is why they become cops because they can't do anything else.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

And Trump wanted to run for president?  Just what we need, an absentee landlord.

jaybee
jaybee

Wow, with all that is going on these days, you're still talking about the Occupy movement? That is so last year.

Eric Barton
Eric Barton

OK, I've got to say, most cops I've known are pretty stand-up guys. There are a few -- like the Highway Patrol trooper who pulled me over once for "shadowing his speed" -- who are in the job to be dicks. But most of them bust their humps keeping bad guys off the streets.

These days in South Florida, they also make some pretty good coin -- so right there, I'd say that makes them smarter than us.

glass slipper
glass slipper

If you equate "make some pretty good coin " with being smart then you have some issues to work on.

 Not everybody believes that a few pieces of silver is worth selling their soul for.

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