Donald Trump, who today won the US presidential election, came across as “dedicated businessman” a Pune builder who had a business tie-up with him said. The real-estate magnate had visited the city in 2014 to sign a deal with Panchshil Realty, allowing it to use his brandname for the residential project ‘Trump Towers’.
The building, comprising two glass facade towers of 23 storey, offer 46 single-floor residences and stands on 2.5 acres of land in Kalyaninagar.
“I know him as a dedicated businessman and not as politician. The entire Trump family is extremely hardworking as they reach office at 8 AM and work for almost 12 hours,” recalled Atul Chordiya, Chairman and CEO of Panchshil Realty.
Trump was initially looking to enter real estate business in Mumbai or Delhi and Pune was not on his radar, he said.
“After our discussion, he expressed his desire to do a small but a nice project to set a brand standard example with me. I told him that I only deal in Pune. But he said, let’s build a nice monumental building,” he said.
In 2014, Trump and his son Donald Junior had visited Pune.
Trump’s team used to visit the Pune project every month and checked the progress minutely. “They used to take photos and if there were rectifications, they used to communicate to us,” Chordiya said.
Trump never invested in any project, he said. “They just do brand and design tie-ups and in this project, he has just lent his brand and they were involved in monitoring the design and construction quality.”
Bollywood veteran Rishi Kapoor and his son Ranbir own two apartments in the Pune project. “One flat was rented for Rs four lakh and another was for Rs five lakh (per month), which is the highest rental so far in the city,” claimed Chordiya.
The luxurious project, however, has come under the scanner of the local authorities after a local builder and RTI activist Ravindra Barhate alleged discrepancies in the documents pertaining to the land.
Chordiya termed the allegations as baseless. “The issue was deliberately raked up as Trump’s name was attached to it and elections were round the corner,” he said.