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Trump project gets new builder

By JAMES THORNER
Published November 21, 2006


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For the past eight months, Trump Tower Tampa has been a building without a builder.

Apparently not for much longer.

A Canadian company with a long history in the Tampa Bay area has been pegged as the new general contractor for the 52-story condominium on the Hillsborough River.

The PCL family of companies is North America's 10th largest contractor. A division based in Orlando, PCL Construction Services Inc., would build Trump Tower.

Another branch of the company, PCL Civil Constructors Inc., built overpasses of the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway and Memorial Causeway in Clearwater. Both projects had well-publicized problems: cracked pillars in the case of the causeway and a collapsed overpass in the case of the Selmon Expressway.

The much-delayed Trump Tower, potentially the tallest skyscraper in West Florida, has been without a lead builder since Turner Construction Co. left the project in March.

SimDag LLC is developing the $260-million tower under license from New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump. But citing soil instability on the 1½ acre building site, SimDag ceased laying underground pilings a couple of months ago.

The luxury high-rise is supposed to have 190 condominiums ranging from about $700,000 to $6-million. SimDag has toiled to find a lender for the roughly $200-million it needs to start vertical construction at 111 S Ashley Drive.

To help with finances, SimDag also hired DLR Consulting Group to seek state tax breaks for the project. DLR chief executive David Rummell said SimDag has overlooked "redevelopment" money used in such urban renewal projects as Channelside. Though not blighted, the Trump site has been underused to the detriment of the city's tax base, Rummell said.

Rummell's company disclosed the name of PCL in a news release Monday, but SimDag refused to confirm the choice. Trey Nobles, PCL's construction manager in Tampa, said he couldn't talk about a deal without SimDag's approval.

PCL is building a 32-story condo tower in Orlando with 400 units called 55 West.

Assuming it gets off the ground soon, Trump Tower is projected to open in 2009.

James Thorner can be reached at 813 226-3313 or thorner@sptimes.com.

[Last modified November 21, 2006, 05:39:08]


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