Trump Secures Approval for Miami-Area High-Rise Project at Doral Resort | Miami New Times

Doral City Council Allows Trump's High-Rise Project to Move Forward UPDATED

The project would add a row of dense high-rise buildings onto the perimeter of the Trump resort.
In 2012, the Trump Organization bought the Doral resort out of bankruptcy for $150 million.
In 2012, the Trump Organization bought the Doral resort out of bankruptcy for $150 million. Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
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Update published 9/28/2023 12:15 p.m.: The land-use amendment application for Trump's Doral International Towers unanimously passed a second city council vote allowing the Trump Organization to move forward with the high-rise project at the Trump National Doral resort.

The item passed after several residents and the vice mayor expressed concerns over the expansion's potential impact on traffic.

With a can of sardines in hand, one resident performed an original song called "Sardines in a Can" to convey his opposition to the project. ("Oh yeah, we're sardines in a can, if this passes.")

The city's vice mayor, Rafael Pineyro, seconded residents' grievances, noting that like others living in Doral, he's worried about congestion on Northwest 87th Avenue, which runs along Trump's golf resort.

City officials said that they will work alongside Trump’s team to examine ways to reduce the project's impact.

"I would only hope that [Trump National Doral] would continue to enhance our City of Doral and not make it more difficult for people to live in," Mayor Christi Fraga said.

The original story follows below.

Doral city officials will soon gather to decide whether to give a green light to what former president Donald Trump has trumpeted as "perhaps the most exciting development in the country."

The 2024 presidential candidate and criminal indictment magnet is seeking approval from the City of Doral to rezone his sprawling 54-acre Trump National Doral resort in order to erect several 20-story high-rise towers and retail buildings. The proposal passed an initial city vote 4-1 last October.

During its 6 p.m. meeting, Doral's city council will consider a land-use application that would pave the way for the Trump Organization to break ground.

The city's vote comes a day after a judge handed down a key ruling in the New York Attorney General's lawsuit against Trump, finding that the Trump Organization is liable for fraudulently overvaluing assets for years.

On Northwest 87th Avenue, just around the corner from downtown Doral, Trump National Doral boasts four golf courses, tennis courts, a clubhouse, an 18-cabana pool, hotel rooms, and a spa. As detailed in a design plan submitted by Trump's team, the project would add five more buildings to the property, including a four-story villa with 20 units and four high-rise towers, altogether comprising more than 1,400 residential units.

The latest plan reduces the number of units in the project by about 800, according to a letter from Trump's team.

"This reduction in units will allow us to preserve our existing golf resort use on the property without removing any of the existing hotel rooms or amenities that our guests and members enjoy," the letter to the council states.

If approved, Trump's application would change the land use for the property from "community mixed use" to "downtown mixed use."

The project, dubbed Doral International Towers, notably leaves out the former president's name.

In 2012, the Trump Organization bought the Doral resort out of bankruptcy for $150 million. Reports later emerged about the resort's financial woes; its net operating income, a benchmark measure of revenue minus expenses, dropped 69 percent between 2015 and 2017, the Washington Post reported. (Trump's son Eric called the story "completely senseless.")

Trump — who is currently facing criminal charges in four separate cases, two of which involve his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election — is far and away leading the field for the Republican presidential nomination, with a roughly 40-point lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in aggregated polls.

Some Doral residents have expressed concerns about the high-density project, arguing that Doral International Towers could cause overcrowding and traffic.

During the meeting on October 26, 2022, in which the land-use change passed its first city council vote, one Doral resident argued that it would be problematic to convert the resort into high-density space, suggesting it would be more logical to stick to villas or a project more cohesive with the rest of the city.

A traffic analysis report completed by an engineering consultant concluded that the proposed plans would "significantly impact" several roadways surrounding Trump National Doral and the city's fast-developing downtown area.

"I understand the property owner has rights," the resident said. "But we also have the right to find a balance that will serve for the people here."
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