VANCOUVER - Vancouver has become the next stop for real estate tycoon and reality television icon Donald Trump's international hotel chain.
The 63-storey tower's twisting design by now-deceased architect Arthur Erickson was originally meant for the cancelled Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the city's downtown core.
It will now be built by developer Holborn Group.
Speaking at a media event on Wednesday, and flanked by his two sons and daughter, Trump said Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver will make the city even more beautiful.
"I think it will be one of the great buildings, not only in Canada, not only the United States, but anywhere in the world," he said. "It's going to be that good."
The Trump Organization will be lending its brand power and operating the tower, but the family will not be investing in the project's development.
This will be the second Trump International Hotel and Tower to be built in Canada, following the one in Toronto. It opened last April and has been plagued by low occupancy and legal troubles.
Despite that, George Wong, principle of Magnum Projects, the real estate marketing and sales strategist for the new Vancouver tower, said he isn't worried the Toronto tower's woes will impact investor confidence in Vancouver.
"We looked at the entire portfolio of Trump properties, which involves golf courses, hotels, residential towers and the percentage of success is almost one hundred per cent," he said. "Of course, there are always exceptions to the case, but in Trump's case, his successes far exceed those that are not successful."
The $360-million tower will have guest rooms as well as luxury residences ranging from 644 to 2,117 square feet. Penthouses will be between 3,500 and 4,400 square feet.
Joo Kim Tiah, CEO and president of Holborn Group, did not disclose possible prices for the units. When asked by reporters whether he expects the residences to be bought by locals or overseas investors, he skirted the question.
"The Trump brand is synonymous with real estate, and success and quality of the highest degree," he said. "I think it will definitely resonate with anyone who relates to those traits."
Tiah also said he is not concerned about a cooling real estate market in Canada, calling Vancouver's Trump Tower a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
The Tower will also have what Tiah said will be Vancouver's first pool night club, a champagne lounge, a signature restaurant, and a Mediterranean-inspired boutique spa with products and treatments that will be chosen by Trump's daughter and Executive Vice-President of The Trump Organization Inc., Ivanka.
Known for her role in the reality television series "The Celebrity Apprentice," as well as for her large roster of signature lines in jewelry, footwear and handbags, Ivanka called Erickson's design "cutting edge," "innovative" and "striking."
"We've looked at Vancouver for a long time," she told The Canadian Press. "We've seen a lot of opportunities here throughout the years, before the (Winter) Olympics, after the Olympics, but this really was the right one."
Ivanka, who is now pregnant with her second child, said she expects to be back in Vancouver "many, many times" as construction of the Trump Tower gets underway.
Despite Vancouver's reputation as a city of yoga pants-wearing, casual residents, Ivanka said she believes the luxurious lifestyle represented by the Trump brand will fit right in.
"People in Vancouver appreciate beauty, whether it be natural beauty ... or architectural beauty," she said. "Now there are buildings that are appropriate for New York, and there are buildings appropriate for Las Vegas. We think we have conceived and designed a building that's very appropriate for here in Vancouver."
The Trump Tower is expected to be completed by fall 2016.
© Copyright 2013