Ivana Trump's Beirut condos on hold
Ivana Trump, ex-wife of New York real estate developer and television personality Donald Trump, announced plans for a new luxury condominium development in Beirut shortly before the latest crisis in the region.
The $150-million (€117 million) project is a joint venture between Dallas-based JMJ Holdings and Dubai-based DAMAC Properties and would be the first condo project to build upon the luxury brand established by the famous ex-wife, though only the latest in the ongoing trend of celebrity-branded real estate projects. The female Trump also has branded jewelry, clothing and perfume lines.
According to local press reports, the 27-story luxury tower would overlook the Mediterranean Sea and offer one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, in addition to duplexes and penthouses. The base of the building would reportedly have a retail component.
As war broke out between Israel and Hezbollah in July, Trump cancelled a luncheon in London pitching the properties, but stopped short of saying the project was off. “[Trump] promises, optimistically, that the launch of the billionaires' pad in Beirut will happen this year, and there are ideas for similar blocks in Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and Paris,” wrote reporter Dan Sabbagh in The Times of London. “It's highly unlikely that war or any other major conflict will break out there.”
Dubai Property company DAMAC has recently announced other non-Trump, mixed-use developments, including a $3.5 billion project in the Tanggu District of the Chinese city of Tianjin and a 14-building development in Doha, Qatar valued at more than $400 million.
An icon on the block
The John Hancock Center, a landmark Chicago skyscraper located on Michigan Avenue, could be put on the auction block by its current owner, Shorenstein Properties. The San Francisco-based property company has reportedly received offers to turn part of the 100-story mixed-use building into a hotel.
Insiders have noted that, while there are vacancies in the building's office space, the Hancock still sees strong revenues from retail rents, as well as parking and antennae usage. Because of this, Crain's Chicago Business reported that the sale price could be as high as $350 million (€275 million).
Shorenstein paid $220 million for the building in 1998. The Hancock has 888,500 square feet of office space, 152,900 square feet of retail shops, a 23,900-square-foot observation deck, 34,300 square feet of broadcasting facilities, parking for 716 cars and 49 floors of condominiums.
More new “old” buildings
Rocky Mountain cities are looking to spruce up their downtowns, if two new deals are any indication. Portland-based Scanlan Kemper Bard recently acquired the 226,092-square-foot Trolley Square retail center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah for $38.6 million (€30.2 million) with an eye towards redeveloping the historic district as a mixed-use development.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Trolley Square is Salt Lake's second most-visited tourist attraction. The new owners plan to recruit new merchants, add a residential component and rehab the parking areas.
Meanwhile, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Lake Forest, Illinois-based Green Courte Partners is planning a $28-million mixed-use development in Steamboat's downtown area. Plans call for 24,000 square feet of retail space, 42 residential units and a below-grade parking deck—all “sensitive to the historic feel of Old Town.”
Religion goes global
Global food conglomerate Nestle has reportedly chosen Malaysia as its new halal products production and distribution center.
“More than 30 percent of Nestle Malaysia exports are for the Middle East,” Nestle Malaysia supply chain director Ariffin Buranudeen told local press. “A large portion of our exports are also for the Indonesian market while Singapore and the Philippines, with substantial numbers of Muslims, are also important markets.”
Nestle will reportedly use supply centers in Thailand and Indonesia for liquid milks, the Philippines for powdered milk and breakfast cereals, and Singapore for malt extract. It is reportedly also talking with Malaysia-based MISC Integrated Logistics about halal cold-storage facilities.
Around 70 percent of Nestle Malaysia's products are manufactured locally, with 30 percent being imported. The company manufactures its products in eight factories in Malaysia and has its head office in Kuala Lumpur.