Developer of Trump Tower says project keeping controversial name
There are no plans to dump the Trump off the Trump Tower, according to the developer.
Pressure has been mounting for Vancouver-based Holborn to cut ties with Donald Trump since the presidential hopeful proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S.
On Wednesday, the CEO of Holborn responded to the backlash by declaring the company has no political affiliation whatsoever south of the border.
“As such, we would not comment further on Mr Trump’s personal or political agenda, nor any political issues, local or foreign,” Joo Kim Tiah said in a statement.
“Our efforts remain focused on the construction of what will soon be the finest luxury property in Vancouver and beyond.”
Architect and real estate consultant Michael Geller told CTV News there’s little chance the Trump name will be scrapped from the $360 million hotel-condominium project because that’s how it’s been sold.
“His name is not going to come off,” Geller said. “If it did, I think most lawyers would tell you all of the buyers would have the right to rescind their purchase.”
The $360 million tower was initially going to be a Ritz-Carlton hotel until the 2008 financial collapse put that project on hold. Trump announced he was lending his brand to the tower instead in 2013.
That was long before he declared his intention to run in next year’s U.S. election, or subsequently made headlines for shocking policy pronouncements, but Geller said Holborn’s decision to associate with Trump still raised eyebrows.
“I think many people in the Vancouver development community said this is not something we would do,” Geller said.
Prominent planning consultant Brent Toderian, a former Vancouver city planner, and city councilor Kerry Jang have been leading a growing chorus of Vancovuerites urging the developer to drop the licensing deal.
Jang told CTV News that Trump is now synonymous with bigotry, and a tower with his name on it amounts to a “monument to bigotry.”
Trump Tower, which will be the second-highest building in Vancouver next to the Shangri-La Hotel, is scheduled for completion in fall 2016.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson