Moscow, Donald Trump, Trump Tower Moscow discussed on Trump, Inc.
Nineties. Property records show that Rozov owned this building for just over a year. Bought it all cash took out some financing on it and sold it for twenty three percent profit David says during that your they didn't make any major improvements on the building. And that he never met Rozov smiling. Another Russian speaker connected with the deal. History. Feel. Feel Sater his name shows up on the sale documents as an authorized signatory. Have you read the new reports that how the guy who for whom Felix this was trying to build Trump hair Moscow? You know that they were the Russian owning behind. Helix? Did you ever meet up? Resolves. Other US projects were harder defined in his letter to Cohen, he mentions a mall in Williston, North Dakota. There's not like an Andre Rozov mall in North Dakota propublica, katie's avowed sqi, but what I did was essentially looked for malls that had gotten zoning approval in North Dakota. And turns out there is maybe like one place that could reasonably be called them all in Williston. It's called the badlands town center, and it's sort of this family owned strip mall with a couple of stores local F B I office. This is not Rozov small, but there's really nothing else except for in April twenty fifteen a Swiss company called Strope ick had gotten zoning for a five hundred million dollar project in this town of thirty thousand people the county's owning commission approved a sprawling shopping complex with apartments. Hotel, an indoor waterpark county spokesperson told us they had never heard of Andre of. But a person familiar with the deal confirmed that this is the project rose was bragging about so what would I find? If I went to this site that's been zoned for this mall today. Nothing Katie has been reporting on Rozov for a while. She hasn't been able to reach him. So I tried I emailed Andre Razov and his financial manager Jimmy treat of probably about a year and a half ago. And all I got back was a one line reply asking, how did you get this Email that Email no longer works? She called the offices of rosettes company in Russia. No-one picked up in his letter to Cohen Rosa mentioned another project housing development, east of Moscow Kadian Heather looked into that too found that by twenty fifteen it had run into delays. It is still incomplete. We thought it was unusual. That Trump signed a letter of intent with this developer someone who pointed at these deals to show what kind of developer. He was. Here's Heather, ideally, you're going to want somebody who's either got land. Or you have a sense, they really have a reputation or connections that are going to bring you that financing very easily and Rozov doesn't seem to have either. So it just begs the question of are we not understanding Trump's intentions, or are we not understanding Rozov capacity? And why is that in the fall of twenty fifteen Felix Sater and Michael Cohen have access to at least one of the things they need to build a Trump Tower Moscow, Donald Trump, they also have a questionable developer with an incomplete housing project doesn't if Moscow zoning rights to build a Megamall in North Dakota. Now, all the need is practically everything starting with money and a building site. Heather's been doing some research on what it's like to build a building in Moscow. So I've sat in a lot of planning and Sony meetings. She wrote about that as a reporter for local newspapers in South Carolina in Connecticut. And so I have kind of this template in my head for how these sorts of things you're supposed to go. And I remember especially early my career finding this to be a very boring thing to be following up close and Moscow seems to be a whole different ball of wax. You have this place with these outsized personalities these all guards and billionaires and other sorts of people who've been able to get control of these different parcels that are up for redevelopment, and there's not a surplus of them. There's only a certain number of them that are sites that you could potentially build something big enough to make a lot of money off of it. The map of Moscow looks like a series of concentric rings with the Moscow river snaking through from west to east in the innermost ring is the Kremlin Saint Basil's cathedral with the onion domes and red square. This is the center of power in the city. It's where Trump was looking to do a deal in the eighties nineties but between site villa? -bility height restrictions. This is a difficult place to build further out you can build higher, but it's less prestigious. So you have people kind of jostling for their place in this world, and you have people falling in and out of political favor, and that is impacting their ability to build, and in fact, there multiple stories that I came across of developers who fell out of political favor either with the mayor or with Putin and ended up jailed and fleeing the country having their assets seized, and then there's this whole reshuffling as whoever's left kind of carves up what they had smart businessman in Russia in that includes the real estate business understand that if you are not in sight. Side, the Putin circle. Then you want to avoid any projects that are of national significance. This is Darryl Stanford. He spent more than a decade as managing director of Russian operations for CBI, the world's largest commercial real estate broker. He says the terrain can shift. Suddenly one day somebody can decide that your project is very interesting to them, and you should agree to sell that happens. And unlike in the US, you can't just buy piece of property in Moscow in sit on it for thirty years. Instead, the government owns the property and leases it to developers in Moscow. There's a master plan. There's a plan for that piece of property. And if you're not getting the job done, you can end up losing your property. So you've got to put the pieces of the puzzle together and start working to build what you're supposed to build on that property in Moscow. You've got zoning restrictions limited site availability. Time line set by the city planning office. And politics, all of these factors. Put pressure on one of the most important decisions for any new development where to build it in a reporting we found that Cohen Seder never figure out a suitable location for Trump's tower. It's this problem Cohen says his testimony that leads him to reach out to the Kremlin from what we can tell Cohen Seder are considering multiple sites the letter of intent mentions Moscow city, it's a business development district with other high rise towers, most of it is already built out. So it's not kind of a slam dunk to just walk in there and pick up a parcel. They're also looking at less obvious locations. Seder makes plans to meet with the Russian billionaire who controls the site called zeal limousine property, an old automobile manufacturing plant, the problem with that property, even though it's large and available or at the time. It was was that it was really not in the kind of elite neighborhood that Trump would wanna locate in Trump's team in Moscow. Still angling for a better location kind of like Trump Tower, New York is located what's called the Tiffany location, at least two other sites one source with knowledge of the project told me where possibilities they were considering at the time, though, sites were more central to the Kremlin one was just about three blocks away from the Kremlin across the Moskva river in had plenty of land plenty of area for a project like this the catch their height restrictions. The only way to get around. These height restrictions this to get something that in New York, you'd call zoning variance, a special dispensation from government officials to build something out of character with neighborhood in this case central Moscow. Normally the maximum building height in this area would be around ten stories. This is an area where the skyline is very historic. And it would really be a sore. Thumb to have Trump Tower in the middle of that. And it's on an island actually in the tip of that island. There's a second site. Called the Red October chocolate factory. There was also available at the time. And again, the problem there is that you're going to face a lot more difficulty with something like height restrictions. And that's why at that point. You would really need intervention from somebody fairly high placed. Getting intervention from somebody highly placed this has been Donald Trump's bread and butter since he started in real estate, New York. Mayors governors getting them to do his bidding while he makes political contributions. He knows this and in Moscow well in Moscow, according to BuzzFeed reporting and Coen's testimony Felix Seder raised the idea of offering a fifty million dollar penthouse and the proposed Trump Tower Moscow to Putin must person for the Kremlin has denied this. According to Cohen, the Putin penthouse was a marketing strategy to lure oligarchs to also buy into the building. We don't know how far they gone with this offer. We reached out to the Kremlin asking about all of this. We did not get a response. But we do know thanks to Coen's plea deal that in January of twenty sixteen Cohen does seek help from the Kremlin. He sends an Email and speaks for twenty minutes with the assistant to a top Kremlin official Cohen outlines the project, including the Russian development partner, then he asked for help in moving the project forward both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction the assistant takes detailed notes says she'll follow up the next day Seder rights to Cohen telling him to call he writes, it's about the president of Russia. They called today Cohen said in his sworn testimony all of this is related in real time to Donald Trump, most of the time virtually all of the time, it would sit he would say to me, Michael come welcoming. He was. Heading to say rally to a car, and as I walk into the elevator. He would ask me questions quickly with me. Trump would say and Cohen would walk and talk and tell him the details of the Trump Tower Moscow be about what he was referring to in terms of the project and Russia. No, this would be it. Okay.