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Trump, Partners Plan Huge Rio de Janeiro Project

posted Apr 1, 2013, 1:59 PM by Mara Alexandru   [ updated May 30, 2014, 9:53 PM ]
From The Wall Street Journal


SÃO PAULO, Brazil—Trump Organization and a consortium of companies plan to construct a massive commercial development in Rio de Janeiro as the city gears up for the 2014 World Cup finals and the Olympics in 2016.

The development will be the first Trump-branded project in Brazil, and features a row of five 38-story buildings over 345,000 square feet in the coastal city's downtown area.

Other partners for the project, called Trump Towers Rio, include U.K.-based real-estate investor MRP International, Brazilian construction company Even Construtora e Incorporadora SA, EVEN3.BR -1.55% and investment-services firm Salamanca Group.

Valued at $2.5 billion, according to MRP, the project is a bet that Rio de Janeiro will continue to enjoy economic growth. The city has attracted a flood of foreign investment after massive oil discoveries off Brazil's coast in recent years and as the country's economy expands, but Rio faces a number of challenges as officials rush to fix deteriorating infrastructure and crack down on crime.

"Brazil is an extremely important market for us," said Donald Trump Jr., an executive vice president at Trump Organization, in a press release. He added at a press conference Tuesday that the company is also evaluating opportunities in the hotel space in Brazil, but declined to elaborate.

The Trump project is expected to be the largest commercial development in the country, and one of the largest urban office developments in the world, the companies said Tuesday. It will initially target leasing office space to large Brazilian and multinational companies, they said.

The companies didn't disclose financial details of their partnership, but said construction will begin in the second half of 2013.

Situated between beaches and mountains, the city is planning some $10 billion in improvements including a new train service, new highways and aerial tramways. Nearly half of the budget will go to revitalizing Rio's downtown port district, Porto Maravilha, where the new Trump project will tower over Rio's new business hub.