Toronto’s Trump International Tower is searching for a new buyer after years of concurring losses which led to its quiet default on the property. The court appointed a receiver to have custody on the property if and when the owner defaults. The starting price has been set at $298 million a bit lower than $500 million which was spent to build the tower by Talon International Development Incorporation.
The main reason for the sale is because of the strange ownership of the tower. 94 out of 261 condominium were available in the market to investors meaning that Talon, though expected the hotel to operate at a 5-star standard, was relying on the gamble that the luxury units would sell at luxury prices. When the tower was opened in 2012, Talon’s CEO was optimistic that the tower would bring lots of investors which will enable Talon make a profit but that did not happen as expected and by 2013, the investors who had already purchased rooms were losing money due to the low rates of rooms and by 2016, half of the residential condominium which were up on sale remained unsold.
Because of this, the investors alleged that they were misled by Talon and Talon turned the tables and pointed its fingers at Trump Toronto Hotel Management accusing them of not maintaining the building’s five-star reputation. In 2016, Talon’s lawyer, Symon Zucker said that his client was not interested in the Trump brand and the Trump organization’s lawyer, Alan Gatel called Zucker’s claim as baseless saying that the building had maintained the 5-star standard. Here is a video discussing removing the Trump brand.
Too Many Unsold Units
All the back and forth arguments did not change anything since there were still unsold units in the tower which were bleeding Talon’s money very fast. In May 2016, the developer defaulted to a construction loan of $260 million which left them hunting for a buyer. No matter which buyer will come along, Toronto Trump Hotel Management will continue managing it but it is yet to be determined if the next owner will opt out of the branding arrangement that Donald Trump had with Talon.
This has made their relationship take a turn for the worst where each is alleging the other of trying to destroy the project. The developer then asked the board to give them rights to fire Trump and get rid of the name from the tower but Trump management filled a Notice of Motion alleging that Talon wanted to terminate their contract and they threatened to sue. But since there will be someone wanting to buy the tower, there will be no need for suing.
Just days after Fiat rival Volkswagen pleaded guilty to criminal charges associated with rampant cheating involving vehicle emission tests, The United States government is now accusing car company Fiat Chrysler of deliberately failing to reveal software in a number of the company’s pickup trucks and SUVs with diesel engines that lets them emit more pollution than allowed by the “Clean Air Act“.
Notice of Violation
The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) announced on Thursday that it had delivered a “notice of violation” to Fiat Chrysler that covers around 104,000 vehicles including models of the popular Jeep Grand Cherokee from 2014 to 2016 and also Ram Pickups. All sold with 3litre diesel engines.
While Fiat Chrysler hastily issued a statement denying any wrongdoing, The Environmental Protection Agency said that it will go on with its investigations to ascertain the “nature and impact” of all the eight software functions it identified during testing.
Regulators were not as yet vehemently defining the software as “defeat devices” which are in most cases intended to cheat government emissions tests. However, they said that multiple discussions with Fiat Chrysler during the last year did not produce any satisfying explanation as to why the company had not disclosed the software, which the regulators insist had caused the cars to give off less pollution during testing than during ordinary driving.
Liable for Penalties
Officials said that Fiat Chrysler could be liable for civil penalties if found guilty of violating the “Clean Air Act”. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is examining whether the emission control devices found in the above-mentioned cars are “defeat devices” which are outlawed because they switch off pollution controls.
Assistant Administrator for enforcement and compliance of the EPA Cynthia Giles said that this was a clear and serious infringement against the “Clean Air Act” and that when companies violate the law, Americans bank on the organization to come in and enforce.
Fiat Waits for the New President
Fiat Chrysler said that it was dissatisfied with the Agency’s actions and that it was looking forward to working with the Trump administration to have its case carefully looked at. The company said it spent months providing information to the Agency to expound on its emissions technology and even proposed a couple of actions like changes to the software to address the EPA’s concerns but to no avail. The company insisted that its emission control systems meet the suitable requirements.
Fiat Chrysler’s shares on the stock market fell more than 16 percent after the news was announced by the EPA on Thursday 12th January 2017.Whether Fiat Chrysler will be stamped with a similar $4.3 billion penalty like that given to Volkswagen remains to be seen, but what we can be sure of is that the folks over at the EPA have stepped up their game in a bid to make the air we breathe a lot cleaner.