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Trump brand arrives in B.C. with Vancouver tower plan

Donald Trump’s hotel and condo tower is expected to create 170 construction jobs and 300 full-time positions upon completion. He is shown arriving in Vancouver Wednesday with children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Holborn Group plans to build a 63-storey condo and hotel that will bear the Trump brand, unveiling the $360-million real estate project more than four years after the developer cancelled a luxury proposal on the downtown Vancouver site.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver is being portrayed by Holborn as a high-end development that will attract both foreign and B.C. buyers for the condo component of the project on West Georgia Street.

Holborn president Joo Kim Tiah said Wednesday he is sticking with the original design for a twisting tower by late Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, but the Trump brand will replace Ritz-Carlton as the name on the proposed tower.

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While Mr. Tiah blamed previous lacklustre sales on the 2008-09 recession, he is confident the outcome will be positive this time around. Slated to open by the fall of 2016, the building will have 218 premium condos that will be offered for sale. Those units will be on the upper portion of the tower, which will feature a 147-room hotel on the first 15 floors, Mr. Tiah said.

Mr. Tiah, 33, said the global economy has been on the mend since the recession, with Vancouver performing well and stable times expected to continue. "The United States is getting back on its feet. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I think we're going to do really well," Mr. Tiah said in an interview. "This is such a wonderful city and people want to work and play in this city."

U.S. businessman Donald Trump, who flew into Vancouver for Wednesday's news conference, said his organization will spearhead the hotel endeavour. Features will include a nightclub with a swimming pool. The Trump International project is expected to create 170 full-time construction jobs, and once it opens, 300 full-time positions are envisaged.

"I believe it's going to be a fantastic success. I love Vancouver," said Mr. Trump, who was accompanied on stage by his daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr. and Eric. Ms. Trump said she is a big fan of Mr. Erickson's exterior design. "The twist is spectacular," Ms. Trump said in an interview. "We're now moving into the interior design and conceiving those spaces."

Brent Toderian, former director of planning for the city and now an urban consultant, welcomed Holborn's revival decision. "It's an exceptional design and will be an important piece of our skyline as the second-tallest building after the Shangri-La, but the jury is out on whether the Trump brand will add to the economic viability of the project," Mr. Toderian said.

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About the Author

Brent Jang is a business reporter in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. He joined the Globe in 1995. His former positions include transportation reporter in Toronto, energy correspondent in Calgary and Western columnist for Report on Business. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of The Gateway student newspaper. Mr. More

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