The rent on the Washington, D.C. hotel, run by Donald Trump’s family business while he was president, a symbol of his power to Republicans and corruption to his critics, was sold by his family business to a fund of investors based in Miami.
The Trump Organization said Wednesday it had completed the sale of a long-term lease on the Trump International Hotel to Miami’s CGI Merchant Group for what it described as a record price per room for the city.
Sources close to the deal, requesting anonymity to discuss the private transaction, said the price was $375 million, giving the Trump family company perhaps as much as $100 million in profit.
The new owners planned to remove the Trump name from the facade and rename the hotel the Waldorf Astoria. Workers were seen removing signage from the hotel on Wednesday night.
The Associated Press reported earlier this year that the investor group includes former Yankee hitter Alex Rodriguez.
Sales price exceeded expectations
Many hotel brokers, landlords and consultants did not expect the 263-room hotel on White House Street to fetch such a high price. The hotel lost more than $70 million during the four years of Trump’s presidency, including all the years before the pandemic stopped.
The former president’s son Eric Trump said on Wednesday that the Trump Organization has taken a “ruined, underused building and turned it into one of the most iconic hotels in the world”. He hailed the “biggest sale of a historic hotel in over 15 years”.
Democrats in Congress are questioning the transaction, which earns more than $1.4 million per room. Carolyn Maloney, chairman of the House oversight committee, characterized it on Wednesday as “the latest in a long line of questionable deals, conflicts of interest and constitutional violations involving former President Trump and his Washington, D.C. hotel.” “.
“The former president will personally receive tens of millions of dollars in profits from the sale of his lease at a significant premium over market rates, but the American public still doesn’t know whose money they are paying for this deal.” Maloney said.
The Trump Hotel in Washington, DC, has always presented a clear conflict of interest. This sale ends an era of corruption. I am now working on legislation that will ensure that no future #POTUS can benefit from this sort of arrangement. https://t.co/5kvUZAYYFY
The committee earlier this month requested documents from CGI listing all of its investors.
Democrats also want to ensure there are stricter and more enforced laws regarding a new president’s business.
Trump, DC Just Settled Hotel Related Case
The hotel was a magnet for lobbyists, diplomats and others seeking to please the president. Democrats said it tarnished the presidency’s reputation, pitted its financial interest against the public interest and possibly broke the law. Several lawsuits contesting his ownership of the lease were unsuccessful.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, said Thursday that the “Trump Hotel will live as a black eye in government ethics.”
The controversies started from the beginning of his presidency. The DC attorney general alleged in a lawsuit that Trump’s presidential inauguration committee overpaid for events at the hotel and enriched the former president’s family in the process.
The committee raised an unprecedented $107 million to host events celebrating Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.
Last week, Attorney General Karl Racine announced that a settlement had been reached in this lawsuit that would see the Trump Organization and the committee pay $750,000.
Hours later, Trump criticized Racine and noted that the agreement does not include an admission of guilt or liability.
The hotel is the former Post Office building and is still formally owned by the federal government. The Trump Organization won rights to repair the building and run it as a hotel in exchange for paying the government annual rent and a portion of the proceeds from the sale.