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"We had an inside track knowing that the zoning was going to be changing here in Sunny Isles," Gil Dezer explains.
An inside track?
"My father's a friendly guy, he talks to everybody," Dezer continues, waving off any allusions to impropriety. "The word was out: This was going to be the place. It was about who had the biggest balls to put their money where their mouth was."
Balls aside, what about the persistent whispers of under-the-table sweetheart deals on Trump Grande condos for local pols and financiers?After all, one man's kickback is another man's, er, commission.
"I couldn't do it even if I wanted to -- the bank is on my ass and they want to see sold units," Dezer insists. "In Miami we've never had anyone come to us for money," he adds. "Donations to their campaign? Yeah. You have to give to Republicans and Democrats just to cover your bases." To that end he's even hosted a fundraiser for Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas's current U.S. Senate run, despite their being on opposite sides of the political divide. Penelas may be a Democrat, but Dezer says, "We work with the man, not the party. He's a sharp guy." Politicians aren't bought. They're wooed by the force -- or the subtlety -- of your argument: "It's like when you rush a fraternity. You've got to show your face around, be nice to all the brothers."
So who's getting hazed here?
Dezer rolls his eyes and laughs. Grabbing a pack of cigarettes, he leads the way onto his office's balcony. The view is downright breathtaking, with Aventura's high-rises sparkling across the Intracoastal in the night sky, and to the right, the inky blackness of the Atlantic. His hair swirling in the wind at this great height, Dezer motions to the sprawl of the Trump Grande below. "I'm my father's son, he takes care of me, he's the one who gave me this opportunity," he says solemnly. "Now it was my decision whether to fuck the opportunity up or do what I did with it."
The same way Trump inherited his own father's real estate empire?
"And Trump gives his father a lot of credit," Dezer replies with a knowing smile.
Next week: The art of the deal, Dezer-style