The Moscow project marked the culmination of 30 years of interest by Mr. Trump in establishing a foothold in Russia and nearby Ukraine. The push involved more than 20 separate developments. Though ultimately none came to fruition, one advanced far enough to leave a giant hole, eight stories down in the ground before being abandoned. The proposed plans for the 2016 project included giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse, long-time Trump associate Felix Sater said in an interview. Mr. Cohen loved the idea, Mr. Sater said.
As Russians sought a safe haven for their money abroad, Trump properties grew as a go-to brand for Russians buying in the U.S….
Florida developer Gil Dezer, who with his dad licensed the Trump name for towers in three Florida locations, says more than 300 condominium buyers in their Sunny Isles towers alone came from the former Soviet Union.
Mr. Trump’s children joined in the hunt.
.. Plans were drawn up to renovate and rebrand the Stalin-era Sovietsky Hotel as Ivanka Hotel, says one person who was involved in the project, which included a store that would sell Ms. Trump’s jewelry line. Ms. Trump launched her jewelry line the next year, in the fall of 2007.
.. Mr. Chigirinsky says he put feelers out to Mr. Trump for what he planned to be the biggest construction project that Moscow had seen since Joseph Stalin’s time. The developer says he envisioned a 118-floor, Norman Foster-designed tower near the Moscow River with enough office and living space to hold 30,000 people.
.. According to a person who works in a senior role at Crocus Group, Messrs. Trump and Agalarov agreed that Mr. Agalarov would build a series of 12 buildings near his Crocus properties. This new development would be called Manhattan, and at its center would be two towers—one named for Mr. Agalarov, the other for Mr. Trump.
.. As Mr. Trump stumped on the campaign trail, his representatives stayed on the hunt for property.
Mr. Cohen sent an email to the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, in January 2016, asking for assistance in arranging building approvals. He told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence he never got a response. On Thursday, he admitted that was a lie and talks continued until June, by which time Mr. Trump was the presumed Republican candidate and was nominated the following month at the RNC’s convention.