Who owns Trump Waikiki? Not the Donald

Published: Mar. 8, 2016 at 10:25 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2016 at 2:05 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Donald Trump recently told Hawaii News Now he owns the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Waikiki.

"As you know I'm there a lot and I have so many friends there, and I own a big hotel, as you know, Trump International Hotel," he said on HNN Sunrise.

Only, that's not true.

As real estate expert Stephany Sofos explains, Trump International is a condominium "so individual owners own each of the units."

Eric Gill, of Unite Here Local 5, added, "Donald Trump has never owned the building. His name is on the wall and I think they paid him a lot of money to put the name on the wall."

The building is part of the global Trump Hotels Collection. Trump brands his name to certain projects.

"They have a specific quality of construction and interior construction and the overall maintenance of the project and also how the hotel is run is all under his review and his approval," Sofos said.

Trump also told Sunrise that he's putting people to work at the Waikiki property. "It's been a tremendous success. We employ a lot of people at that hotel. It's large and beautiful. It's one of your most highly-rated hotels," he said.

Well, that's a point of contention.

"To the extent that they have good wages and benefits is because they're on the Waikiki beachfront surrounded by our members who have built a very high standard of wages and benefits here in Hawaii," Gill said. "No help from Trump."

The tower was completed in 2009; all units pre-sold in a day for about $700 million.

"For naming the building, he got 10 percent of the sale," Sofos said.

The Trump tower is a five-star property. Hawaiiana Management manages the condos. A Trump spokesperson told CBS News Trump's company manages the operations.

The Trump International Hotel & Tower website said the Waikiki property is not "owned, developed or sold by Donald J. Trump, the Trump Organization or any of their affiliates."

"He does own a lot of the hotels and he is a part owner of a lot of the hotels and he may be a part-owner of this hotel," Sofos said. "So he's probably saying this is a part of his legacy and his power base."

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