Three years after launching its last project in India, The Trump Organization, the New York-based business venture of former US president Donald Trump is planning to look at fresh opportunities for its branded residences in the country.
In January 2018, the fourth and last residential Trump Tower project was launched in Gurugram, which is being jointly developed by M3M India Pvt. Ltd and Tribeca Developers, the official representative of Trump Organization in India.
After Trump became president in January 2017, the organization had decided against entering any new overseas deals while he was in office. With the election of Joe Biden as US President, Tribeca and Trump Organization will likely resume new development plans for India.
“We continue to see strong interest for the Trump brand in India—both from buyers for our existing projects as well as from developers who want to launch new Trump-branded projects. India is the largest market for Trump-branded projects outside of North America and the existing projects have done extremely well. We will be working with the Trump Organization to chart out the India strategy in the coming weeks,” a Tribeca spokesperson said.
In India, for the first two projects, with Pune-based Panchshil Realty and Lodha Group, the Trump Organization worked with local developers via licensing agreements and didn’t make any equity investments. For the Gurugram and Kolkata projects, Tribeca entered into a co-development model with the respective developers.
“For new projects in India, we are not going to give just the brand licence but will follow the Gurugram and Kolkata model,” a person familiar with the plans said.
To be sure, the Trump brand may have lost some of its lure in the last few years, given the multiple controversies surrounding Donald Trump before and while he was president. There was also speculation over whether the projects will sell, but developers who are building the Trump projects in India said they have managed to sell well.
“It is too early to say whether there will be an impact on sales or buyer sentiment. Last year, due to the pandemic, sales were slow but otherwise, we have sold over 80% of the project. While the brand is one of the selling points, the quality and features of these projects play an important role. The Trump lifestyle factor will also not change,” said Harsh Patodia, chairman and managing director, Unimark Group. The Trump Tower project in Kolkata, which was launched in 2017, has around 140 luxury apartments. Realty firms Unimark Group, RDB Group and Tribeca are developing it.
There have been two rounds of price rise in the project and the average cost of a unit is ₹5-7.5 crore.
The Trump-M3M project at Gurugram is expected to be delivered by March 2023. Fourteen out of 50 storeys have been constructed, and around 50% of the project is sold, said a M3M spokesperson.
In the Trump Tower project of Lodha Group in Mumbai, 80% is complete and 50% of buyers have taken possession.
“There has been some delay due to the covid situation, but things are back to normal pace,” said a person familiar with the development.
The residential sector in India has been going through a slowdown, and premium and luxury home sales have been significantly impacted. Interestingly, in recent months, premium housing sales saw a rebound, not just in Mumbai where stamp duty rates were cut but in other cities too.