a time of such financial uncertainty and real estate chaos one of Panama´s premier projects is almost done and close to delivery. Trump Ocean Club should be ready for delivery by the end of 2010. As of right now the building has up 57 of its 70 floors and 90% of it is sold. According to Mr. Roger Khafif, President of K-Group, one of the main partners in this venture, they have already received the required 30% down payment from all of its clients and should collect the remaining 70% upon delivery of the apartments. During the lowest points of the crisis when the future of financial markets was very uncertain Trump Ocean Club offered its clients discounts on prices for pre-payment and increased the size of the apartments. New buyers were also offered 10% to 15% discount as it was more important to keep sales going. The strategy seems to have worked as the building has moved ahead and is close to completion.
Initially one square meter in Trump Ocean sold for $3,100 and currently some of the units have sold at prices between $4,000 to $9,000 per square meter. The original cost of the building as a whole was $400 million but in 2009 construction materials increased in cost and the cost of the building consequently rose approximately 10% however the company managed to compensate by getting better deals on finishings and other details. The final cost of the building has not been revealed yet. Once finished Trump Ocean Club will boast 509 residential condos, 369 condo-hotel suites and 126 Bay Lofts completely furnished. It is now rumored to be the biggest building in Latin America if you measure it in square meters. It is 260,000 square meters. Most of the buyers are from the US, Venezuela, Canada and Russia.
The fact that it will be delivered in 2010 and that it has continued to move forward does not mean that it has not had difficulties along the way. In 2007 this mega-project sought financing through the stock market through a bond issue valued at $220 million through one its subsidiaries Newland International Properties Corp. This created a lot of doubt about the feasibility of the project as several other mega-projects in Panama collapsed around that time including Ice Tower and Palacio de la Bahia. Even in this sea of doubt the bonds sold at 89%. The issue was handled by Bear & Stearns and was directed at the international market of institutional buyers. When the market collapsed in 2008 the Trump bonds plummeted to 50% and around that same time Mr. Donald Trump was involved in the bankruptcy of one of the companies in which he was a shareholder. In spite of this Trump Ocean Club, International Hotel & Tower Panama not only survived but thrives. The Trump bonds are now at 90% and investors are quite pleased.
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