By Blake Sherman, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – American real estate tycoon Donald Trump has set his eyes on Rio, and with partners; MRP International, Salamanca and Even Construtora e Incorporadora, is developing office buildings worth an estimated R$5 billion to R$6 billion. Trump is branding the project which will consist of five skyscrapers, each being 150 meters tall, with 38 floors.
The first two Trump Towers will begin construction in the second half of 2013 with completion scheduled before the 2016 Olympic Games, and the remaining three buildings as demand allows. According to the partners, this would be the largest investment in corporate offices underway in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
The development is part of Rio’s Porto Maravilha Project which is concentrating on revitalizing the Port Area of the city. Plans are to develop of over five million square meters between Avenues Presidente Vargas, Rodrigues Alves, Rio Branco and Francisco Bicalho.
In a press release, the Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump Jr., stated, “We are incredibly excited to announce Trump Towers Rio. Brazil is an extremely important market for us, and one that we have been looking forward to entering into. I believe that with the demand for the Trump brand coupled with the unparalleled location and highly advanced design, there will be nothing like this in Brazil and beyond.”
This development marks another significant turning point for the evolution of Rio. The area surrounding the towers is aimed to be the new business center for the city. Set to be completed by 2015, the revitalization of Port Zone includes the demolition of the elevated 4km highway Perimetral.
The Port Zone will also see the construction of 4km of tunnels, re-pavement of 70km of streets and 650,000 square meters of sidewalks, reconstruction of 700km of networks of urban infrastructure (water, sewer, drainage), building of 26km of tracks for the new light rail vehicle and 17km of bike lanes.
The Trump Towers is intended to be the nucleus of the city epicenter and the tallest buildings in Porto Maravilha.
According to Mayor Eduardo Paes, the construction of the Trump Towers is a testament to Rio’s continually progressive infrastructure and snowballing foreign investment.
Paes states, “Today, the city is exhibiting great financial strength according to the assessment of the rating agencies. The influx of investments is a reflection of our efforts and those excellent times for Rio.”
“Since the beginning of the term of this government, abandoned areas in the city are undergoing rehabilitation – the ‘Porto Maravilha’ project is the best example of that. Here we have a large volume of urbanization and construction projects of new cultural centers, such as the Museum of Tomorrow and the Art Museum of Rio (MAR). The Port [Area] will be an economic and touristic center of the city.”
Once the Trump Towers are completed, the project will focus its efforts on leasing the space to high profile Brazilian and multinational companies. The group believes this development will alleviate socioeconomic issues, provide jobs, and increase traffic to the area. With the continual development of Porto Maravilha, the region is expected to host an increasing population from 22,000 to 100,000 people within ten years.