Is Trump Retiring to Panama?

imageNY11503201302 Is Trump Retiring to Panama?
Donald and Melania Trump

Is Donald Trump preparing his exit from The Trump Organization?

At a press conference yesterday to announce a new development in Panama, Mr. Trump wasn’t doing most of the talking, despite his propensity for elocution displayed, well, everywhere.

Now settled with model Melania Knauss (whose image graces every corner of Trump Tower) and the proud papa of newborn baby Barron, it seems as though the Donald is bowing out to make room for his other children, Don Jr. and Ivanka, in the family business.

At the event in the atrium of Trump headquarters, a well-spoken Ivanka took the lead in introducing the project. She approvingly nodded her head during each speaker’s briefing (even her father’s) as if the orchestrator of the show, which she may have well been. The Panamanian partner, Roger Khafif, thanked the young Trump for her efforts in learning about the country and actually visiting Panama.

This isn’t the only project that Trump Sr. has taken a back seat on. The largest Trump developments in Chicago and Las Vegas are being headed by Don Jr., who also spearheaded the formation of Trump Mortgage LLC, the Associated Press reported.

In fact, what exactly was the impetus for this AP report? A well planted PR piece or a retirement tip?

Actual development news after the jump.

- Riva Froymovich

trump22zm Is Trump Retiring to Panama?
Trump Ocean Club

The Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower in Panama City, Panama will be huge.

The construction of the 2.4 million square-foot mixed-use lot will be a partnership between The Trump Organization and K Group Developers. The 65-story condo, casino, 24-hour yacht club, golf course and private beach has an estimated cost of $220 million, but that price tag is for the original size of 1.8 million square feet. It is the largest real estate investment in Latin America, according to Trump.

It is 400,000 square feet smaller than the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle–although Don Jr. kept claiming the opposite.

The design resembles a sailboat docked at sea. “One of the most beautiful [developments]…And I have to say this, in all the world,” Donald Trump boasted.

Mr. Trump was attracted to the allure of Panama City after a visit three years ago for the Miss Universe pageant, which he co-owns.

The development team kept touting the safety and stability of Panama City. After all, Conde Nast Traveler chose Panama as one of the best places for a second home in the Americas.

“There is a new phenomenon,” Mr. Khafif, president of K Group, said, “And it is that the Americans are coming.” They are marketing the condos as an affordable, yet luxury option abroad for the “baby boomer to stretch their dollar and live comfortably for the rest of their lives,” he noted.

Mr. Khafif also highlighted the country’s low cost of living. However, he failed to mention that about 40% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line.

The project is expected to be done by 2009.