Former President Trump is in advanced talks to sell the rights to his Trump International hotel in Washington, DC, sources told Axios.
Why it matters: Removing Trump’s big, golden name from Pennsylvania Avenue would be a symbolic bomb enjoyed by adversaries.
- The historical building became a prop and symbol for both sides during the political wars.
- The hotel was a focal point during his chaotic presidency when Trump dressed up at his personal table and supporters and supplicants rushed the lobby bar and restaurants to flatter each other.
This is how it would work: Trump would sell the leases to a real estate developer, who in turn would negotiate with hotel companies who would manage and rename the property.
- Details of the terms of the deal are not yet known, but Trump’s representatives have held talks with major hotel chains and investors.
- Trump, who initially tried to sell the leased federal property in autumn 2019, declined Axios’ request for comment.
- Sources said the former president will likely get less than the $ 500 million he was allegedly aiming for in 2019.
The history: The hotel is located in the 122 year old building of the Alte Post.
- Three years before Trump’s election, the General Services Administration (GSA), the federal landlord, announced a 60-year lease with the Trump organization.
- According to the 2013 agreement, $ 200 million in private money was to be spent to restore the building and turn it into a luxury project.
- The Trump Organization paid $ 250,000 in basic rent in 2017, according to the GSA. Rent should rise with inflation.
- Many ethics and contract experts urged the GSA to end the 60-year lease after Trump was elected and effectively became both a tenant and a landlord, NPR noted, but GSA kept the deal up and running.
Trump’s hotels and golf resorts have been hit hard by the COVID shutdowns that have brought the hospitality industry to a standstill – made worse for the former president by his lost heat after his 2020 defeat.
- When Trump stepped down, the Washington Post reported that the DC hotel had a $ 170 million loan outstanding and sales were down more than 60 percent year over year.
- In early June, the Post reported that Trump had hired the brokerage firm Newmark Group to market the lease.
- The original commercial real estate brokerage firm, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., left after the Capitol Rebellion, Bloomberg reported.
Axios’ Erin Doherty contributed to the coverage.