Trump Tops Off Las Vegas Strip Condo Project, Happy With Outlook

Las Vegas (AP) — The real estate market may have cooled, but Donald Trump said he’s not worried about his investment in a USD 1.3 billion condominium tower project just off the Las Vegas Strip.

„There are projects that have been canceled, projects where weaker developments couldn’t get financing, but that’s to my advantage,“ Trump said Friday before a topping off ceremony at the first Trump International Hotel & Tower in Las Vegas. „I go around and buy land, I do things other people can’t do.“

The real estate mogul has reason to be optimistic.

Earlier this month, New York developer Elad Group announced plans to build a USD 5 billion multi-use complex next to Trump’s project, which currently sits next to the aging New Frontier casino-hotel.

Elad, the owner of the Plaza Hotel in New York City, bought the 34.5 acre New Fontier property for about USD 35 million an acre from Trump’s partner, Phil Ruffin.

Trump called the announcement „incredible news for the investors“ in his project. He said he didn’t think the price — about twice as much as casino giant MGM Mirage Inc. paid in April for a similar plot– was too high.

„It’s a high price but in five years you’ll say I can’t believe I bought it for that,“ he said.

Trump Tower I is slated for completion early next year just off the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. Sales of condos in the second tower, also to be lined in gold-plated glass, began last month. Nearly 500 of the 1,200 units have sold, Trump said.

„I think having the Trump name on the building makes a big difference,“ he said.

Sales also have been helped by Trump’s reality TV show, „The Apprentice,“ which featured the project in an episode. The show was left off the NBC fall lineup announced earlier this month.

Trump said he wasn’t fired by the network and he hasn’t quit.

„NBC wants to renew it badly. I’m making a decision as to whether I want to do another season,“ he said, adding that other networks have expressed interest.

A spokeswoman for the NBC said the network had not decided on the future of the show.