Donald Trump forays into commercial realty in India, inks deal with IREO for Gurgaon project

American real estate firm will lend its name to IREO’s high-end office building, which will see an investment of Rs 1,000 crore

NEW DELHI: The Trump Organization has signed its first commercial office deal in India with private equity fund and developer IREO in Gurgaon.

The American real estate firm founded by Donald Trump, the front runner for the Republican nomination for the President of the United States, will lend its name to a new high-end 600,000-700,000 sq ft office building on Gurgaon’s Golf Course Extension Road, which will be built by IREO alongside a retail complex for about Rs 1,000 crore. Donald Trump Jr, executive vice president at The Trump Organization, said Gurgaon is ready for such a project. “We fully understand that there is quite a bit of commercial office space in India, especially in Gurgaon, but I think when we talk about the luxury segment, the market is truly underserved,” he said.

Lalit Goyal, managing director, IREO, said the company has been in talks with Trump for a long time and was waiting for the right time to enter the market with such a product. “Now is the right time as Gurgaon today is short on high quality commercial office space,” he said.

Trump said, “I’ve been there a few times. I think, like a lot of India, whether it is residential or commercial, it is generally underserved in the luxury market.”

Residential markets in India have made the leap forward towards luxury, but this is not the case with offices, Trump said. “As the market continues to grow and as India continues to lure big world-class companies, their level of expectation of what the quality of their office product has to be needs to be raised, and I think that’s exactly what a project like this will do,” he said.

The office building, which will be designed by architect Norman Foster, will be part of the larger mas ter-planned IREO city in sector 61 of Gurgaon.

“Trump will be lending their name to the building and also sharing their global expertise on design and planning,” Goyal said.

Trump said his firm will add value to the project on the design aspect as well. “We’ve talked with the team and my father has actually looked at some of those initial renderings to comment on it to see what we want to choose with relation to the exterior facade and other components,” he said.

He did not comment, though, on whether his firm will invest and take an equity stake in this project. “It depends on the project, on a case-tocase basis. We do that in many places, it’s a question of the deal. We would never rule that out, of course,” he said.

Gurgaon, Trump said, is a market for the company on the residential side of the business as well. Asked if any deal is in the offing, he said, “We don’t like to count our chick ens before they are hatched but we have been working on a few deals and looking at numerous deals in the market. Hopefully, we’ll have something to announce in the not too distant future.”

The company already has two residential projects in Pune and Mumbai. It had partnered Lodha group for a high-end residential project in central Mumbai in Lower Parel.Panchshil realty had signed a similar deal with it in 2012 and is close to completing the Trump Tower in upscale Kalyani Nagar area of Pune.

Trump said his company is looking at markets such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad and even markets within markets for more such deals. It is also looking at Goa for a resort kind of property.

“This (Gurgaon project) is our third project in India in as many years and so we are very excited about the progress that we are making here and believe that we have a very long-term future as a company in India,” he said.

Source: ET Realty

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