Trump and Russian love in Miami
This Monday morning, the first day of spring 2017, Roman Bokeria appeared in the guest lounge of his business in Miami with a wide, fresh and relaxed smile.The president of the real estate company Red Square – Red Rooster – took a seat and activated a large television screen curved where he looked on Google Maps and pointed the remote control his place of origin: “Georgia. The Black Sea “.
There are good times for Russians and ex-Soviets in the housing market in Florida ‘s largest city . The victory of Donald Trump with his open syntony with Moscow has brought confidence to the investors of that region. The effect has been immediate. In November – after the electoral victory of the New York businessman – and December, Russia placed the first place of origin of housing searchers on the page of the Association of Realtors of Miami, ahead of Colombia and Venezuela. No data have been published for January and February, but according to Bokeria, who noted that his signature is “number one in clientele of Russian-speaking countries,” the money of his countrymen boils. “Last year was slow and the Russians did not buy. They were worried about relations with the US and thought that with Hillary Clinton everything would be worse. But as soon as Trump won, the activity returned. The Russians are back. ”
Bokeria’s office is in Sunny Isles, a coastal area of metropolitan Miami with a 7% Russian-speaking population and nicknamed Little Moscow. Its development was precipitated in the early 2000s linked to the entry of Russian fortunes that sprouted in the heat of the post-Soviet capitalist outburst. And among the row of skyscrapers that runs Sunny Isles at the edge of the beach there are six towers named Trump – not built by him, but to which he gave his attractive commercial seal in exchange for commissions. The profits that the president of the United States had for these businesses are not public. An investigation by the Reuters agency puts them between 20 and 80 million dollars. They are tall white buildings of homes, offices and hoteliers with bombastic names like Trump Royale or Trump Palace.
Next to them are many others, like the luxurious Jade skyscraper that is rising under the direction of the architects star Herzog & de Meuron, but the Russians are dazzled with Trump. According to Reuters, among the six Trump buildings in Sunny Isles and one that is further north, the elite of Russian investors has spent 100 million dollars in recent years. Nothing attracts them more than the tycoon’s mark. “Whatever you offer,” Bokeria said, “99.9% of Russians will buy Trump. In his psychology his name is associated with success in America, the luxury of a great life in America, with a beautiful family, a beautiful woman and the lifestyle of a millionaire, “said the businessman, who arrived in the United States in 2002, Nationalized and voter of Trump. Bokeria is the same image of that success. Everything looks prosperous in the real estate Red Square. On one side of the couch in the guest room, a large bottle of unopened whiskey, a box of chocolates with the image of Tsar Nicholas II, and a thick volume entitled Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal,
He said that Trump has given them back the idea of the US as a welcoming country and a safe, stable haven for their capital. And South Florida provides them with the added climate they’ve longed for and companies that specialize in giving them the complete package of services, from housing offer to immigration procedures, such as yours: “We’re here to get your dream in American, “Bokaria smiled, who stressed that the Russian investor is no longer just the explosive Russian mogul of post-communism but a middle upper class with an average spend of less than half a million dollars – sometimes all the capital it Available.
And the oligarchs remain. The Russians who have accumulated voracious fortunes. When Trump gave the final acceleration of his campaign in October, a note was left in the Miami press that went unnoticed in the electoral whirlwind despite the shocking of his equation: a Russian named Alexey Knyshov, former Congressman of the Duma with the United Russia of Vladimir Putin, had sued the builder because he had leaks in his $ 7 million apartment, also in Sunny Isles; The same neighborhood where Tom Wolfe placed in his latest novel, Bloody Miami, the dwelling of his very topical – but not unreal – philanthropist art Sergei Korolyov, handsome Russian, multi-millionaire and with “a huge duplex penthouse” with “a curtain Of an almost comical luxury “.
Not in Miami but in South Florida in Palm Beach was the Maison de l’Amitie, a French-style residence with 18 bedrooms, 22 bathrooms and 50 parking spaces that belonged to Trump until in the middle of the housing crash Of 2008, with the value of real estate plummeting, sold for 95 million, more than double what he had paid a few years before, to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian with a fabulous fortune forged in the fertilizer trade . The illogical price of that sale for a house that Rybolovlev would never pay attention to and demolished last summer to sell the land, surprised then and has now returned to enrich a baroque fresco of intrigue. Rybolovlev’s private jet and Trump’s field plane coincided five days before the election at a North Carolina airport and days earlier both had been at a Las Vegas airport on the same day. The Russian tycoon has become a suspect in the alleged connection of Trump’s campaign to the Kremlin, although the two, the seller and buyer of a property that broke market records, claim they have not been seen in life.
As official research and the political battle over the possible Russian factor in Trump’s rise to power evolve, life continues in Little Moscow. Crossing around noon on Monday, a group of young Russians who had come from Chicago to spend a few days in Sunny Isles chatted about enjoying beers on the terrace of Matryoshka, a local produce store. “I do not think Russia manipulated the elections. We are not that powerful. Maybe when we were the Soviet Union yes, but not now, “said Rusten. “We’d better be friends. With the number of missiles that each country has, we would make each other dusty, “added his colleague Bulat, who in turn did not see it as improbable that his government had gotten his hand. “Russians say that where there is smoke there has to be fire,” he said. A local loudspeaker sounded on the radio a noisy clatter of Slavic voices. Accommodated with their Russian beers they could see from their table three of the Trump Towers, touching the blue sky of Miami.