Work Trumps fash­ion

More than a bil­lion­aire’s daugh­ter, Ivanka Trump is a real es­tate mogul in her own right, re­ports Julie Earle- Levine

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Prime Space -

IVANKA Trump, daugh­ter of bil­lion­aire US real es­tate de­vel­oper Don­ald Trump, says she doesn’t try to blend in any more when she turns up for work on con­struc­tion sites. The for­mer model wears Yves St Laurent suits with work­men’s boots.

‘‘ I re­alised a while ago I would get at­ten­tion what­ever I wore,’’ Trump says.

‘‘ I used to be ret­i­cent to stand out, but then af­ter a pe­riod of time I re­alised that as a 25- year- old chick with blonde hair I wasn’t go­ing to blend in.’’

Ivanka, from her fa­ther’s first mar­riage to Ivana, has been work­ing for ‘‘ The Don­ald’’ for the past two years and sounds a lot like him when dis­cussing one of her favourite top­ics, real es­tate. She is vice- pres­i­dent of real es­tate de­vel­op­ment and ac­qui­si­tions for the Trump Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Like her fa­ther, she ex­udes self- con­fi­dence, talks fast and likes to of­fer up fig­ures, such as prices per square foot.

Ivanka also grad­u­ated from the Whar­ton School, like Don­ald, where she stud­ied fi­nance and real es­tate. At first she worked for de­vel­oper For­est City Rat­ner, not her fa­ther, who she ad­mits is a tough, but fair, boss.

‘‘ If he didn’t think we were do­ing a good job, he would fire us,’’ she says. Her brothers, Don­ald Trump Jnr and Eric, also work for the fam­ily or­gan­i­sa­tion. For her, real es­tate is in the blood. ‘‘ We are old- school de­vel­op­ers. Real es­tate is not just a num­bers game. I re­mem­ber walk­ing through sites with my fa­ther and grand­fa­ther, Fred.

‘‘ I have an ac­tual un­der­stand­ing of what it takes to de­velop a great project.’’

Don­ald’s fa­ther was a hous­ing de­vel­oper in New York’s outer bor­oughs of Queens and Brook­lyn.

Per­haps not sur­pris­ingly, Ivanka be­lieves there is no bet­ter in­vest­ment than prop­erty, es­pe­cially in New York, where prices for some prop­er­ties have slowed af­ter sky­rock­et­ing rises.

‘‘ For me, I’d pre­fer to put my money in real es­tate than any­where else. If you can hold on to real es­tate through the bad times, you’ll al­most al­ways make money. It’s all about great lo­ca­tion and qual­ity prod­uct,’’ she says, adding that her fa­ther taught her a lot.

Ivanka is work­ing on a con­tro­ver­sial down­town project — Trump Soho Con­do­minium New York — a 45- storey tower that is four lev­els taller than any­thing in that down­town neigh­bour­hood.

‘‘ It’s an in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing build­ing,’’ she says of the glass tower, which has some res­i­dents protest­ing. Its ho­tel con­dos in­clude 413 units, with an Olympic size swim­ming pool and world- class spa.

‘‘ When I looked around at the ho­tel mar­ket, there was a great void that needed to be filled down­town.’’

Ivanka pre­dicts that all new condo projects now need to of­fer lux­ury ameni­ties to at­tract buy­ers. ‘‘ What used to be OK in the 80s — say a nine foot six ( 2.9m) ceil­ing height — well that now needs to be at least 10ft ( 3.05m). You need to of­fer the buyer a lot more to get the dol­lar.’’

She says the Soho

project

will

have

a world- class restau­rant, 24- hour room ser­vice, a li­brary, wine cel­lar, busi­ness cen­tre, fullser­vice lobby, ground- level bar and sev­eral con­fer­ence spa­ces, as well as a pool deck with ca­banas and a fit­ness cen­tre.

Views from some apart­ments in­clude the Hud­son River, Statue of Lib­erty, Em­pire State Build­ing and Man­hat­tan sky­line.

Ivanka lives at Trump Park Av­enue, the for­mer Del­monico Ho­tel on Park Av­enue and 59th, now a Trump build­ing.

‘‘ I in­vest in all of our build­ings. I also plan to buy down­town.’’

She has bought at the Trump Ocean Re­sort Baja, in north­ern Mex­ico, and in Chicago.

Other than the Soho project, Ivanka is re­spon­si­ble for 33 projects around the world and spends much of her time on planes.

A typ­i­cal week might be visit­ing 400ha of land in Aberdeen, Scot­land, where Trump will build a large, ‘‘ world- class’’ golf course. She also likes golf, just like her fa­ther, who prefers to play only on his own golf cour­ses.

Or Ivanka may be in At­lanta, where she is over­see­ing the con­struc­tion of two res­i­den­tial tow­ers, or visit­ing the Las Ve­gas project, a 1300- room ho­tel.

‘‘ I’m also look­ing at a few deals pre­sented to me over the past few months. I love Lon­don but it is a very hard mar­ket and an ex­pen­sive mar­ket when buy­ing with US dol­lars.’’ New York, where prices have surged, re­mains a rel­a­tively good deal, she says. ‘‘ The peo­ple buy­ing here are very in­ter­na­tional and very ed­u­cated buy­ers who have been ex­posed to mul­ti­ple mar­kets and coun­tries. They know what is the high­est end of real es­tate and are pre­pared to pay for it.’’

For her, the best part of the job is not ap­pear­ing on The Don­ald’s television show

( she re­placed Carolyn Kepcher as Trump’s right- hand wo­man) but be­ing on site.

‘‘ I have to be on site as much as pos­si­ble. For me that is what I en­joy the most. I’ve never been more sat­is­fied.’’

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