Trump partners with City Center
By JERRY GLEESON
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: May 15, 2004)
Donald Trump is bringing his cachet and his cash to the City Center in White Plains.
The billionaire builder and star of TV's "The Apprentice" is helping developer Louis J. Cappelli build the second 35-story tower at the $325 million residential and retail complex, Cappelli announced yesterday.
The second tower, which is now under construction, will feature 212 luxury condominiums bearing the new partner's high-end concepts and, like almost everything else he has a stake in, his name as well. Trump Tower at City Center is due to open in the summer of 2005.
Trump will sell the units and manage the tower when it opens. Cappelli said he expects sales to start in two months, with prices ranging from about $500,000 to more than $2 million.
"He's the best-known name in America at this point," Cappelli said yesterday. "And his name is associated with ultra-high quality. ... I believe there will be high demand to be in the building."
Cappelli said he started negotiating with Trump about six months ago. The financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. Cappelli estimated the new tower's cost at $148 million to $168 million.
Trump could not be reached for comment. In a statement, he described the location and architecture of Trump Tower at City Center as "top of the line."
"Working with Louis Cappelli, a friend of mine for many years, is a great honor," Trump said. "Trump Tower at City Center will not only attract the highest level of Westchester purchasers, but will also attract purchasers looking for an alternative to living in Manhattan."
Trump has other stakes in the northern suburbs. His Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor features condominiums ranging up to $10 million in price. In his statement, Trump said he wouldn't be surprised if many of his buyers in White Plains joined his golf club as well.
He also proposes to build 17 mansions on 213 acres bordering Mount Kisco's Byram Lake. The mansions would replace a luxury 18-hole golf course project that Trump shelved in March after village officials feared it would harm the lake, a source of local drinking water.
City Center is the centerpiece of the redevelopment boom in downtown White Plains in the past two years. The project's towers will be the tallest in Westchester County, with the best units enjoying views of New York City. The complex has more than 500,000 square feet of stores, theaters and restaurant space.
Last month, Cappelli announced that a subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase had bought into the ownership of the first tower, containing 311 rental apartments, for $105 million. In addition to Trump Tower at City Center, Cappelli is building 29 condominium lofts at the complex that also are due to be completed in the summer of 2005.
So far, 16 stories have been built at Trump Tower at City Center.
There is likely to be strong demand for the luxury condos bearing Trump's name, said George M. Stone, managing partner for Julia B. Fee Real Estate in Rye. Many older owners of million-dollar houses are looking to sell and yet remain in the area, he said.
"I think having Donald Trump become involved with City Center is a great opportunity for people to get a quality product," Stone said. "They have something that is unique for Westchester. He has some impressive views out of the top of that building."
Costas Kondylis, a Manhattan architect who has designed many of Trump's residential towers in the city, has redesigned the second tower at City Center. Cappelli's original plan to have rental apartments in the second tower was replaced by the plan for luxury condos.
The condo units will range from one to four bedrooms, in sizes from 1,000 to 3,000 square feet. The amenities required by luxury units, such as 9-foot ceilings and larger bathrooms, reduced the total number of units in the building.
White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino said the City Council had accepted the Building Department's view that the changes in the second tower would not require a new review process, since the overall size of the building had not changed.
Delfino said Trump's involvement with City Center would be a boon to overall development efforts in White Plains.
"I think it's going to do nothing but help it," Delfino said. "If he's coming, there's got to be something here."
The building is about a 1/3 the way up... the complex isn't so swift.... maybe he can fix it up a bit...