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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 16, 2005

Ivana Trump selling condo property

 •  Hawai'i Real Estate Report

By Kathleen Hennessey
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS Six months before ground was scheduled to be broken, Ivana Trump's planned luxury condominium is for sale on a real estate Web site.

Developers are asking $49 million for the proposed high-rise project, which was expected to cost $700 million and was slated for completion in December 2008.

The price tag includes about 2 acres on the northern edge of the Las Vegas Strip, which is approved for a 900-foot tower and an unlimited gambling license.

"We got 28 hits in the first minute," said Las Vegas real estate attorney and broker Chris Sullivan, who represents Sahara Condominiums LLC, whose officers include the property's owner, San Francisco-based Rinkai America Inc., and Australian developer Victor Altomare.

Altomare could not be reach for comment.

Trump and Altomare had billed the Ivana Las Vegas project as the tallest luxury high-rise in Las Vegas and projected that its sales would top $1 billion and make it the most expensive residential building ever sold.

Sales materials show prices for units ranged from $550,000 to $35 million for the penthouse. About 40 percent of the units had been reserved, Sullivan said.

Sales have been suspended and all buyers are eligible for refunds, he said.

He would not comment on the project's financing or on whether Trump would remain part of the project.

If Trump abandons the deal, the Ivana Las Vegas would be the second high-rise project with celebrity cache to call it quits. Former Chicago Bulls basketball star Michael Jordan was attached to Aqua Blue before the project was canceled earlier this year and the site was sold to Chicago investors.

There were 93 luxury condominium projects proposed, planned or under construction in the Las Vegas area as of the second quarter of this year, according to a report released in September by Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas-based consulting firm.

While 15 projects representing 10,000 units are expected to be completed by the end of next year, analysts estimate that about one in three of the 93 will ever open its doors because of financing and demand questions.

Sullivan said at least two developers are "seriously interested" in the property, but they don't include Trump's ex-husband, real estate mogul Donald Trump, who has his own high-rise condo projects in the works in Las Vegas.

"We did send him an information packet though," he said.