(photo credit: )
Donald Trump has made his first entry into Israel sooner than expected and is planning to build a luxury apartment building in Ramat Gan within the next five years.
Trump, in partnership with Miami-based property company Crescent Heights, has bought the original Elite chocolate plant building in Ramat Gan earmarked for the development.
Food company Strauss-Elite Ltd. said Wednesday it sold the building to a foreign investor from the United States for $ 44 million, for which it expects to make a capital gain of NIS 120m.
Crescent Heights representative in Israel, N.S. Tito Architects, confirmed that Crescent had signed an agreement with Trump to develop the project, and that they plan to build a 70 story luxury apartment and office building on the Elite site.
"Crescent Heights and Donald Trump want to build a tower for prestigious living, according to American standards," said Sami Tito, CEO of Tito Architects. "The site is an important one in the city, strategically located next to Migdal Aviv."
He added that the building would be known as a Trump Tower.
The property covers an area of 15,000 square meters and is currently used by Strauss-Elite as office space. The company has the rights to use the building for the next two years, after which the consortium is expected to start construction on the project.
Tito said the development would take approximately three years to complete.
Representatives of Crescent Heights are scheduled to visit the country in April and Trump is expected to follow with a visit shortly thereafter.
The deal marks the second time in less than three months that Trump has been associated with projects in Israel, after a business associate of his confirmed in December that the tycoon is planning to build a $500 million beachfront hotel complex in Netanya.