BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The Trump Organization has no plans to build in Buenos Aires, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday, ending speculation a new Trump office tower would soon appear near the landmark obelisk in the heart of Argentina’s capital.
The city government said in late November it had declined to authorize a permit to build an office tower linked to the U.S. president-elect, clarifying that developers would have to file new paperwork for it to be reconsidered.
The “Trump Tower” project made international headlines after a local news report that Trump mentioned the proposed office complex when Argentine President Mauricio Macri put in a congratulatory call to him after his Nov. 8 election.
The Macri administration said the report was untrue and that the project was not mentioned during the call. Macri knew Trump from his days working as a businessman but had said before the election he preferred Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“There are no plans to build in Buenos Aires,” said the Trump Organization spokeswoman, who asked not to be named.
Trump, a businessman who has never held public office, has real estate and leisure holdings all over the world, sparking concerns his investments could color his decision-making after he becomes president on Jan. 20.
He has said he will remove himself from day-to-day business operations before taking office, avoiding potential conflicts of interest by transferring control of his businesses to his three eldest children.
His company pulled out of a hotel venture in Rio de Janeiro last month.
Developers YY Development Group, which built a nearly completed Trump Tower at the Punta del Este resort in Uruguay, told the Argentine paper La Nacion this week that the Buenos Aires project had been called off for now.
The Buenos Aires city government said in November the Trump project first surfaced in early 2007 when a firm identified as Kubic S.A. filed a building request for a plot of land now used as a downtown parking lot.
The plan was approved, but expired when construction did not begin within a stipulated three-year period, the city’s statement said.
Last August, the city said, a firm called Repetto Oeste SA sought to revive the 2007 plan, but the request was not authorized.
Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Peter Cooney