'Apprentice' star Donald Trump voids 'Friends and Family' condo deals
UPI News Service, 01/16/2007
The "Friends and Family" whose contracts for discounted condos in a Donald Trump tower in Chicago have been voided may not be feeling so friendly.
Early purchasers, most of them insiders involved in planning and designing the Trump International Hotel & Tower, were told they would get a discount on the purchase price be able to put up a smaller down payment. The contracts also allowed them to resell the condos before actually closing on them, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Recently, about 40 purchasers received letters from a lawyer representing the real estate tycoon and star of TV's "The Apprentice," telling them their contracts were null and void.
While language in the contracts appears to allow the cancellations, Richard Peiser, a professor of real estate at Harvard, said he had never heard of that kind of pull-back. Because the early sales help developers get financing and move the project along, "it would seem the buyer should enjoy the upside," Peiser said.
The friends and family can still buy if they want, but only by paying close to the current asking price.
Trump appears to have little sympathy for his former friends, telling the Tribune he is the one who made the project "a tremendous success."
"Don't feel bad for them," he said. "I paid them many millions of dollars in fees."