Trump Considers Building Tower in Charlotte, NC

Could be 60-stories-plus

By Victoria Cherrie
The Charlotte Observer
May 18, 2007

Charlotte's economic development director says Donald Trump Jr. and his siblings are developing a plan that could lead to the tallest skyscraper in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.

"It's a very serious effort," Tom Flynn said this week. "It's not just a flash in a pan."

City and county staffers have had preliminary discussions with the son of the renowned New York billionaire about a concept that could include offices, upscale condos and a five-star hotel at the corner of Tryon and Stonewall streets.

Currently, the younger Trump is hiring an architect and studying whether Charlotte could support the concept. The plan could also include ground-floor retail, such as shops and a restaurant, Flynn said.

Their talks have centered on a 60-plus-story building, Flynn said. The height would depend on how much underground parking could be built to support people using the building. Discussions also have focused on service entrances and traffic around the possible future site and the city's Afro-American Cultural Center under construction across Stonewall.

Trump Jr. could not be reached for comment Thursday.

While visiting Charlotte this month, Trump Jr. said he and his siblings might use a Charlotte architect to team up with a New York firm.

Trump Jr. has been working with Infinity Partners, a local real estate company, to acquire the property needed for the project. The land, about 3.8 acres, includes an office building and a Goodyear Tire Auto Service Center.

It's unclear if the land is under contract or has been purchased. An Infinity spokesman was unavailable for comment.

If the Trumps decide to go ahead with the project, the first step would be to develop a conceptual site plan that would be reviewed by city planners, engineers and arborists.

No rezoning would be required and the city would impose no limits to the building's height. But the project would have to comply with architectural and other guidelines in the center city, said Keith McVean, a program zoning manager.

Donald Trump Sr.'s projects include the 72-story Trump World Tower in New York and the 96-story Trump International Hotel and Tower under construction in Chicago.

The Chicago building was to be much taller, but Mayor Richard Daley protested and Trump reduced its size to about 90 feet shorter than the 1,450-foot-tall Sears Tower, according to published reports.

To date, the tallest building in Charlotte is the 60-story Bank of America Corporate Center.

A Bank of America spokeswoman could not immediately provide a comment on the Trumps' possible project.

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