Jules Trump, the co-chairman with his brother Eddie Trump of hotel and residential real estate development company The Trump Group, has a penchant for old-world style and opulence. The brand’s luxury projects in the miami The area, Williams Island, in Aventura, and The Mansions at Acqualina, in Sunny Isles, are alluring to the eye with marble and gold finishes throughout.
Mr. Trump’s most recent property, The Estates at Acqualina, is his most extravagant to date: The $1.8 billion project, comprising 245 residences, features visually stunning lobbies designed by the late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfield, his only condominium project in the USA Mr. Lagerfield’s creativity features a backlit glass mural with photographs he took himself and acid-etched glass columns. The Estates also has a 45,000-square-foot Italianate villa packed with amenities including a bowling alley, speakeasy, and ice-skating rink.
The development’s South Tower debuted this October, but the residences in the building sold out in mid-2021.
Mr. Trump, who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is not related to former president and fellow developer Donald Trump, spoke with Mansion Global about trends in luxury residences, his penchant for classic design, and the amenities buyers are buying. of high-end homes. the greatest wish.
Mansion Global: Its Karl Lagerfeld lobbies are the only residential project to have the designer named after him in the United States. Why did you choose it and how did the collaboration come about?
Julius Trump: Karl Lagerfeld is known for his extremely creative work and I have always admired him. His style is unmatched. He introduced us to Karl through a mutual friend and we immediately connected when Stefanie and I flew to Paris to meet him. He looked at our proposal that explained the development and had renderings and kept saying “magnificent.” He was very enthusiastic and we didn’t have to convince him to come on board.
MG: Between Bentley, Armani, Porsche, Acqualina and others, Sunny Isles is saturated with luxury developments. What is your point of differentiation?
JT: I like to think that our quality is incomparable in terms of the materials we have used: mosaics, marbles, metals. Everything is the best possible in its class. Plus, our amenities help us stand out. The Acqualina resort has a 1,200-foot stretch of beautiful beach that is hard to find elsewhere in the Miami area, 6 acres of green space that includes several landscaped lawns and gardens, and five restaurants, including Il Mulino and Avra Greek Restaurant.
MG: How have amenities in luxury developments in South Florida evolved in recent years?
JT: They’ve definitely gotten more exaggerated. It used to be enough to have a great gym and a swimming pool. Now you have the works: restaurants with celebrity chefs, bowling alleys (just like we have), spas and more. Additionally, developments have become more targeted by catering to specific buyers. Some are going after young millennials with bars and lounges. Others, like us, cater to families with services like kiddie pools with slides, teen centers, and kids’ camps.
MG: Most of the new real estate developments have a contemporary design. Yours brings a traditional aesthetic with modernity. Why have you chosen this style?
JT: The residential buildings at Estates have mostly contemporary elements, like Karl’s lobbies and glass exterior, but old world European is a style that Eddie and I, along with my wife Stephanie, love personally. We have also found that our customers love it. We want to be authentic with ourselves and please them. Our Amenity Villa at The Estates is one example and is built in a typically Mediterranean style.
MG: What do you consider to be the most outstanding amenity of The Estates, and from your previous projects, what amenities do you find residents value and use the most?
JT: At The Estates, Avra by far is a huge selling point. It’s a $10 million-plus enterprise: The restaurant is 12,000 square feet, includes outdoor dining and ocean views. The design includes an infinity pool, a collection of contemporary art and a panoramic bar. The restaurant flies fish from the Mediterranean every day and has its own network of fishermen and produces its own olive oil. Based on my numerous times dining at Avra’s in New York, dining there is an experience that transcends the typical meal out.
From what I have seen in my previous developments, restaurants are the most used services. Residents use them for entertainment, family dining, or dining alone. They are for entertainment and practical at the same time.
MG: What role do you think the pandemic played, if any, in regards to your sales?
JT: I think he played a big one. We saw strong sales in 2020 before the pandemic, but once it hit in March, they stopped. But between January 2021 and June 2021, we completely sold out. Our buyers, many of whom are from New York, wanted an escape from big city life, and we offered it. It also helps that we have four- and five-bedroom residences that are large enough to be permanent homes and give residents the opportunity to comfortably set up home offices.
MG: What is the appeal of living in Sunny Isles compared to Miami?
JT: The beaches are wider and less crowded than South Beach. And, you’re far from the craziness and wild parties synonymous with Miami. Sunny Isles also has a great sense of community with excellent schools, parks, a municipal library, and many long-established mom-and-pop restaurants and shops. People meet and smile and say “hello”.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.