[URBAN NOTE] “Trump’s Doomed Black Sea Tower Might Happen After All”
For Bloomberg, Stephanie Baker and Helena Bedwell report from the Georgian port city of Batumi about how a mothballed Trump Organization project there is set to take off. The next four years will be interesting, won’t they?
Donald Trump flew to the Black Sea resort town of Batumi in 2012 and, standing alongside then Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, announced a deal licensing his name to a $250-million 47-story residential Trump Tower to be built by a local developer called Silk Road Group.
Six months later, Saakashvili’s party lost parliamentary elections and later his term ended. He left Georgia, afraid his newly empowered opponents might jail him. Batumi’s Trump Tower seemed doomed — until now.
“The project will go ahead, talks are on,” Giorgi Ramishvili, Silk Road’s founder, told Georgian television Tuesday. “As soon as the transition period is over some time in January, we can talk.”
Reached by phone, Ramishvili declined to elaborate. “I cannot say anything else without the green light of partners,’’ he said.
The Georgian development is one of many Trump deals suddenly in a new light now that they are associated with the incoming U.S. president. Experts say some may find financing or approval more easily, raising concerns over conflict of interest. Trump has said he will outline his plan to remove himself from his business Thursday, but deals he’s signed with business partners around the world are unlikely to be torn up.