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“The Donald” Builds the “Tallest” in Chicago

When “The Donald” builds North America’s tallest residential structure, he wants to be sure the condos he sells are top of the line. That goes for the service the owners receive. And where does that service start? The parking garage.

Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago will, when finished, reach 1,362 feet, making it the tallest condo building in the world with units 90 stories above the Chicago River.

Although final completion isn’t scheduled until 2010, the hotel that’s located on the lower 30 floors will be opened in December 2007. Construction will continue until the building’s spire is added and the building is finished.

Shevket Dardovski, President of Downtown Parking and operator of the 925-space garage, smiled at the fact that they will have built-in customers when the garage opens.

“There are a lot of construction workers and they will need a place to park. They will be charged, but they will get a ‘special’ rate,” he said.

Parking rates in the garage will range from $30 a day to $325 a month. If they want, some condo owners can purchase deeded parking spaces.

The building is over75% sold, says Dardovski. Donald Trump came out a couple of months ago to visit the site and celebrate the selling of the unit that topped 75%. It will be sold out before it is completed.

Permanent monthly parkers will use an AVI system for entry and exit, said Eric Risch, President of Automated Parking Technologies, the company that is installing the parking control equipment (Skidata and Tagmaster).

“We expect many of the owners will be valet parkers; however, they will have a choice,” Risch said.

The valet system has been interfaced with the hotel front desk system to ensure that overnight guests are properly posted. “This can be a big problem,” Dardovski said. “Try as we may, once in a while a guest with a car slips past. Interfacing the two systems ensures that this does not happen.”

The valets will use handheld units to scan and issue bar-coded tickets for all arrivals. Each time a car leaves, that ticket will be made invalid. each new arrival will be treated as a new guest. “That way we will ensure that every guest is properly charged and accounted for,” he said. Daily valet parkers will pay at a central cashier and their car will be brought around.

There also will be a facility for self-parking, although it remains to be seen just how many self-parkers there will be at this five-star properly. The system will use credit card in/out, as well as pay-on-foot for self-parking.

The parking system also will pre-issue “event tickets” that can be provided to attendees prior to an event. And it will provide for validators to enable the host to prepay parking and expedite exits.

Trump International Hotel and Tower is designed as a large-scale mixed-use project – the first of its kind in Chicago.

Article Abstract from October, 2007




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