St Regis Toronto Hotel and Residences | 281.93m | 58s | JFC Capital | Zeidler

Xray_Crystal_Junkie

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...
I don't generally feel smug about people losing money. I'm rather fond of the idea of other people being happy with their lives, loving their families and feeling productive and content as they slowly shuffle off this mortal coil. Losing money would tend to distract from their happiness, etc., so in that sense I think it is bad. But when people put their faith in bad people and do stupid things because of that misplaced faith, I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed to take some pleasure in that. How is that wrong? How is it different than the plot of every feel-good movie ever produced? Watching bad people get their comeuppance has been the stock-in-trade, cathartic narrative of most cultures in world history. The Lasceaux cave paintings probably depict the story of a greedy hunter who tried to trap too many animals and was eaten by them.

It's not about Trump, politics or economics per se, but rather it is about human nature's desire for karmic retribution. It's about Aesop's Fables. It's about Confucius. It's about the rapists (and generally bad hosts) of Sodom and Gomorrah who die in a hail of fire and brimstone for abusing a righteous man and his family. It's about Daniel-san executing the perfect crane technique on Johnny's jaw after suffering months of bullying. It's about the lovely, gruesome murder of Penelope's suitors who spend years eating Odysseus' food, drinking his wine and trying to screw his wife and then beat up on an old beggar for fun. It's about Tommy taking out the three Gatlin boys who raped Becky.
...

I can't believe I read that entire piece of verbal masturbation.

We get it, you've read some books. Go out and enjoy yourself instead of wishing ill-will towards others. Even people you find despicable (and curiously have never met). I don't know who wronged you but I wish you all the best in moving past it.
 

mustangjay

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Donald Trump to blame?

I wonder if any of Trump Toronto's problems may in any way be related to some of the embarassing publicity surrounding Donald Trump himself. I specifically cite the feud with Rosie O'Donnell and the recent ridiculousness with the whole birther issue, which may have largely tarnished the brand in the public's eye. It seems strange that this one building has such a difficult time attracting guests while similiar hotels like the Ritz and Four Seasons seem to be a success.
 

Wrenkin

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I can't believe I read that entire piece of verbal masturbation.

We get it, you've read some books. Go out and enjoy yourself instead of wishing ill-will towards others. Even people you find despicable (and curiously have never met). I don't know who wronged you but I wish you all the best in moving past it.

The Bible, Aesop, Homer, a Kenny Rogers song. It's sad you can't allude to such these days without being called posh. Anyway, the OP didn't say they found the buyers despicable. It was about the small joy in finding your view of human nature confirmed. That said, it was perhaps a bit callous to bring in the Gatlin boys by way of comparison.
 

rpeters

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The Bible, Aesop, Homer, a Kenny Rogers song. It's sad you can't allude to such these days without being called posh. Anyway, the OP didn't say they found the buyers despicable. It was about the small joy in finding your view of human nature confirmed. That said, it was perhaps a bit callous to bring in the Gatlin boys by way of comparison.

Don't worry I liked your post, and I'm sure a few other people probably did too. That guy is just a boring snob with no life.
 

adma

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I wonder if any of Trump Toronto's problems may in any way be related to some of the embarassing publicity surrounding Donald Trump himself. I specifically cite the feud with Rosie O'Donnell and the recent ridiculousness with the whole birther issue, which may have largely tarnished the brand in the public's eye. It seems strange that this one building has such a difficult time attracting guests while similiar hotels like the Ritz and Four Seasons seem to be a success.


Well, generally speaking, there's something oddly of a piece w/the pratfallishness within the realm of Trump, Romney, et al this year. And it's fitting that it's in ever-cautious, ever-skeptical Toronto that Trump has become more schmuck than star. Not in NYC; not in Chicago; not here, or there, but in Toronto...
 

GPStar444

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I wonder if any of Trump Toronto's problems may in any way be related to some of the embarassing publicity surrounding Donald Trump himself. I specifically cite the feud with Rosie O'Donnell and the recent ridiculousness with the whole birther issue, which may have largely tarnished the brand in the public's eye. It seems strange that this one building has such a difficult time attracting guests while similiar hotels like the Ritz and Four Seasons seem to be a success.

You are absolutely right....its all about branding. The Trump was sold to the public 7 years ago, when Mr. Trump was a fairly successful media, property and hotel mogul. His star had risen quite well in the 2000's, but here we are in 2012, when he has lost his lustre, and his image has turned into a media joke. People and investors are trying to distance themselves from him, but there are still a few people left holding the bag (his condo investors) who have a money losing investment.

WHy didn't Shangri-la or oFour Seasons sell their hotel units to "investors"? Because they are properitary business, world class owners and really no need for outside investment of their units. Yes, there are some condo units on the top floors, but the hotel units themselves are owned by the company itself. Four Seasons is probably the best hotel brand in the world, it controls and develops all aspects of its buildings.

So why would Trump aka Talon sell their hotel units?? Its a sham, scam whatever you want to call it. Its a way for them to limit their own risk, and dump it on "investors". This was touted as a world-class hotel from Trump, when actually it was a rookie developer with little experience in hotels, trying to make a big project alongisde Trump. They used "investor" money to build their hotel, then make profits on maintenance and occupancy fees. The private citizens who put their money down are actually the developers..! And Talon and Trump are actually the investors! Because they are the ones getting the profit return, while the citizens are left with all liabilities.
 

marsh

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More from the Star:
Can anyone provide clarity on how deposit funds can be used by developers? As part of the lawsuit the purchasers are claiming the deposit funds have been misused.

Trump Hotel buyers fail to get court to intervene in disputed purchases
Published on Friday November 23, 2012
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By Susan Pigg Business Reporter
Panicked buyers of hotel-condo units in Toronto’s Trump International Hotel & Tower were unable to convince a judge Friday that they need an emergency hearing — and an investigation by a court-appointed inspector — into financial dealings at the ill-fated project.
Five buyers who lined the back of the tiny courtroom, some on the verge of tears, were alarmed to hear that tens of thousands of dollars in deposits they have been trying to retrieve from developer Talon International Inc. “are gone,†according to their lawyer, Javad Heydary.
“It’s an absolute mess,†Heydary told a motions scheduling court, where he was seeking Friday to fast-track a hearing date for buyers who have alerted Talon they want to rescind their deals and get back deposits averaging more than $175,000.
“The facts of this case don’t give us the luxury of going through the regular court process,†Heydary argued. “There is a matter of public interest in this.â€
Talon lawyer Mark Klaiman disputed the need for an emergency hearing. He also called allegations that deposit money is missing “spurious.â€
He acknowledged that Talon has used the deposit money, as is allowed under the Condominium Act, but stressed that the funds are protected, as required, by an insurance policy.
“It’s just not that urgent,†Klaiman told Madam Justice Wailan Low. “Those deposits are secured by the insurance.â€
“Those insurance policies could not be worth the paper they are written on,†Heydary responded, stressing the need for the court to act quickly to protect buyers in the troubled project, which is “highly unusual (with) none of the usual safeguards … other than the Trump name.â€
The buyers in court Friday — Korean-Canadians who were sold on Talon’s projections of revenue that would flow from renting out the hotel rooms — have been trying to back out of deals citing “material change†— maintenance fees and taxes that are 30 to 50 per cent higher than expected.
Buyers say banks are unwilling to provide mortgages for the pricey hotel-condo units, which cost from $700,000 to more than $1 million, and secondary lenders are demanding 50 per cent down and high interest rates.
Talon has launched lawsuits against seven other buyers in Newmarket’s Ontario Court of Justice. It’s asking the court to reject the notion of material change and to stop buyers from rescinding deals penned years ago.
Heydary stressed the need for a hearing before Nov. 29 so buyers can at least get a better handle on the finances of the project at Bay and Adelaide Sts. and the status of the deposit money.
“I’m not satisfied of the urgency of this. The deposits are secured by an insurance policy,†said Justice Low.
She scheduled Aug. 2, 2013, as a hearing date — more than eight months after buyers are expected to hand over final payments.
Last week Heydary launched a lawsuit against Donald Trump, Talon and its principals, Val Levitan and billionaire Alex Shnaider, on behalf of four buyers who were in court Friday, alleging they were “victims of an investment scheme and conspiracy.â€
With just days to go until deals are supposed to close, the lawsuit seeks to have the plaintiffs’ deals rescinded and their deposits returned. It’s also asking for damages of more than $2.7 million for each of the plaintiffs.
At least five more buyers are set to join the lawsuit, said Heydary. He’s also been contacted by representatives of 40-plus buyers, many from the U.K. and Europe.
All of them were shocked to find out last February, when Talon issued new financial estimates for the much-delayed project, that the hotel-condo units weren’t quite the Hollywood gold they were billed to be in slick marketing materials graced by Donald Trump’s smiling face.
In fact, the Ontario Securities Commission is now investigating whether Talon’s sales tactics amounted to marketing the units as investments, with rosy rental r cash flow forecasts, in direct violation of a ruling by the commission.
Talon says it “has complied with the terms of the (OSC) ruling.â€
 

trumptoronto

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"WHy didn't Shangri-la or oFour Seasons sell their hotel units to "investors"? Because they are properitary business, world class owners and really no need for outside investment of their units. Yes, there are some condo units on the top floors, but the hotel units themselves are owned by the company itself. Four Seasons is probably the best hotel brand in the world, it controls and develops all aspects of its buildings."

Just to be clear, the Toronto Shangri-La (Westbank), Four Seasons (Menkes), Ritz-Carlton (Graywod & Cadillac-Fairview) were all developed by firms other than the hotel brands whom they used/licensed to market the property and are operating the hotel. It is no different than Trump (operator) and Talon (the developer).

As as far as deposited funds, those are held in a trust account and are insured. Nothing has been "misused." What you are hearing from the lawyer is a lawyer who is doing everything and saying anything he can to help their clients who have buyers remorse, or are now in a different financial position than they were when they purchased, can no longer afford it, etc. I can certainly sympathize with the buyers who can no longer afford their purchase. I do feel for them. However, they signed a contract. And continued to sign the various amendments we have issued over the life of the project. But this portrayal of the buyers as unsophisticated or lower-income is dubious. They are smart people. And this is not a limited-means type purchase. And at all stages of the purchase process our sales team encouraged buyers to review the contract documents with legal and financial counsel. It was by no means a "high-pressure" sales approach. These are big, long-term purchases that buyers should think through thoroughly before deciding.

The hotel condominium model has worked very well and has been profitable for other Trump Hotel Collection-branded properties. But, as any owner of the properties will tell you, you have to be patient. It is a long-term purchase/investment. One King West purchasers, now after being open a few years, are much happier now then when it opened for example. And as I've mentioned before, the industry standard is about three years for hotel occupancy and rate stabilization. You cannot expect 100% or even 75% occupancy and full rack rates the second a hotel opens, nor in the immediate months that follow. It takes time to build clientele (at least 2 to 3 years). Trump Toronto opened on January 31 in a limited capacity while the amenities and the upper levels of the hotel were being fully completed--and the opening rates reflected that. These were all things that were clearly communicated and concessions were made on the part of the developer to accommodate this time frame. As I've said before, you have to also consider the fact that guests of the hotel have been very happy with the property and the service they received. It is now #1 on Tripadvisor.com for Toronto hotels. Before everyone jumps on the Trump-bashing bandwagon, I have to stress patience. The occupancy and rates are very much in line with expectations and I'm sure are very similar to the other luxury properties that have opened recently as well.

You can say whatever you wish about Mr. Trump personally, but Trump Hotel Collection is a very well run company with an exceptional team of hospitality professionals. There is a reason why the hotels they operate are consistently ranked among the best. For those of you who have stayed at the property or other Trump properties know exactly what I am talking about (Trump Chicago, Trump One Central Park and Trump SOHO were awarded a five-diamond rating by AAA this past year).
 

kalvinone

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"WHy didn't Shangri-la or oFour Seasons sell their hotel units to "investors"? Because they are properitary business, world class owners and really no need for outside investment of their units. Yes, there are some condo units on the top floors, but the hotel units themselves are owned by the company itself. Four Seasons is probably the best hotel brand in the world, it controls and develops all aspects of its buildings."

Just to be clear, the Toronto Shangri-La (Westbank), Four Seasons (Menkes), Ritz-Carlton (Graywod & Cadillac-Fairview) were all developed by firms other than the hotel brands whom they used/licensed to market the property and are operating the hotel. It is no different than Trump (operator) and Talon (the developer).

Thanks for the clarification. Any outsider - such as myself would have otherwise been wondering the same and thinking the same. While I have no sides to this - I'm neither an investor in Trump; nor own any vested interest in Trump, any astute investor would & SHOULD consider everything - especially the financial impact of their investment.
We all work hard for our money (at least most of us do) and I can't believe myself that there wasn't any due diligence in the decision here by the investors? Do they have that much money that they could put into any investment and expect 100% within 100 days? Everything in this world fluctuates in prices (e.g. Gas prices) and while it's hard enough to make a decision on when to pump gas tonight or tomorrow morning, why would any investor look only into flashy marketing brochures or "sales tactics" without having it reviewed again and again? How does any corporation guarantee that prices (in this case maintenance fees, etc.) will remain the same as yesterday, today and tomorrow? Sure they should have known - especially the one who was represented by the real estate agent - that this is a HOTEL/CONDO and is subject to COMMERCIAL taxes. Again... is it just me, or do people just have too much money and not do the due diligence and use common sense? Don't get me wrong - I feel bad that they lost money in the short term, but honestly - they need to look after their #1 and it's themselves... get proper advice before making a large investment such as this (which is pretty hefty by my terms) - after all, they worked hard for it.
 

taal

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I have to say, the journalism in the star regarding this situation is down right terrible and clearly designed to simply sell papers. It's completely one sided, a typical David vs Goliath; whatever appeals to their market base. Painting the investors as poor folks taken for ride that lost every single cent in their bank account is laughable. I'm not saying there isn't some truth to the story, I'm sure there (we know the way every condo is marketed) but there are two sides to every story.

The one thing that I'm not getting a clear answer on, maybe trumptoronto can help out, is the tax rate imposed on these units, is it actually at the commercial rate ? If so was this not revealed to the buyers from the get go ?
 

rpeters

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"WHy didn't Shangri-la or oFour Seasons sell their hotel units to "investors"? Because they are properitary business, world class owners and really no need for outside investment of their units. Yes, there are some condo units on the top floors, but the hotel units themselves are owned by the company itself. Four Seasons is probably the best hotel brand in the world, it controls and develops all aspects of its buildings."

Just to be clear, the Toronto Shangri-La (Westbank), Four Seasons (Menkes), Ritz-Carlton (Graywod & Cadillac-Fairview) were all developed by firms other than the hotel brands whom they used/licensed to market the property and are operating the hotel. It is no different than Trump (operator) and Talon (the developer).

As as far as deposited funds, those are held in a trust account and are insured. Nothing has been "misused." What you are hearing from the lawyer is a lawyer who is doing everything and saying anything he can to help their clients who have buyers remorse, or are now in a different financial position than they were when they purchased, can no longer afford it, etc. I can certainly sympathize with the buyers who can no longer afford their purchase. I do feel for them. However, they signed a contract. And continued to sign the various amendments we have issued over the life of the project. But this portrayal of the buyers as unsophisticated or lower-income is dubious. They are smart people. And this is not a limited-means type purchase. And at all stages of the purchase process our sales team encouraged buyers to review the contract documents with legal and financial counsel. It was by no means a "high-pressure" sales approach. These are big, long-term purchases that buyers should think through thoroughly before deciding.

The hotel condominium model has worked very well and has been profitable for other Trump Hotel Collection-branded properties. But, as any owner of the properties will tell you, you have to be patient. It is a long-term purchase/investment. One King West purchasers, now after being open a few years, are much happier now then when it opened for example. And as I've mentioned before, the industry standard is about three years for hotel occupancy and rate stabilization. You cannot expect 100% or even 75% occupancy and full rack rates the second a hotel opens, nor in the immediate months that follow. It takes time to build clientele (at least 2 to 3 years). Trump Toronto opened on January 31 in a limited capacity while the amenities and the upper levels of the hotel were being fully completed--and the opening rates reflected that. These were all things that were clearly communicated and concessions were made on the part of the developer to accommodate this time frame. As I've said before, you have to also consider the fact that guests of the hotel have been very happy with the property and the service they received. It is now #1 on Tripadvisor.com for Toronto hotels. Before everyone jumps on the Trump-bashing bandwagon, I have to stress patience. The occupancy and rates are very much in line with expectations and I'm sure are very similar to the other luxury properties that have opened recently as well.

You can say whatever you wish about Mr. Trump personally, but Trump Hotel Collection is a very well run company with an exceptional team of hospitality professionals. There is a reason why the hotels they operate are consistently ranked among the best. For those of you who have stayed at the property or other Trump properties know exactly what I am talking about (Trump Chicago, Trump One Central Park and Trump SOHO were awarded a five-diamond rating by AAA this past year).

I guess we're all just wondering why Trump started construction so long ago and still isn't done, it's been beaten by other developments that started much later. What makes Trump so special that it took a whole 2 years (and counting) longer than Shangri-la and Four Seasons? Yes Trump is a bit taller but not that much taller that it should require 2+ years extra. Aura is of similar height and it's on schedule, and has a much more imaginative architectural design. Maybe the reason no one wants to stay there is the ugly scaffolding and unfinished look, people don't expect to pay 600$ a night to stay in an unfinished building.
 
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