$375 Million Sale of Trump’s Washington DC Hotel Finalized, Will Become Waldorf Astoria
23:54 GMT 11.05.2022 (Updated: 13:29 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Alex BrandonTrump International Hotel in Washington
© AP Photo / Alex Brandon
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that former US President Donald Trump had sold his Washington, DC, hotel to a Miami investor. The hotel was once the subject of intense scrutiny by Democrats seeking evidence of corrupt dealings during his presidency.
The 263-room Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue was bought by Florida-based CGI Merchant Group, which reportedly intends to turn the hotel into a Waldorf Astoria hotel.
The reported price CGI paid was $375 million, or $1.4 million per room.
© AFP 2023 / KEVIN DIETSCHThe Trump International Hotel is seen on June 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Trump Organization is attempting to sell the lease to the hotel after failing to in 2019 before the pandemic hit.
The Trump International Hotel is seen on June 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Trump Organization is attempting to sell the lease to the hotel after failing to in 2019 before the pandemic hit.
© AFP 2023 / KEVIN DIETSCH
Trump bought the building in 2016 amid his ultimately successful campaign for the presidency for some $200 million. The building is known in Washington, DC, as the Old Post Office Pavilion, having once housed the city’s main General Post Office. After World War 1, the building became a federal office building and in the 1980s a food court, skylight, and central atrium with retail space were added, turning it into a de facto public mall.
“We took a dilapidated and underutilized building and transformed it into one of the most iconic hotels in the world,” Eric Trump said in a statement Wednesday announcing the sale.
However, when Trump won the November 2016 presidential election just weeks later, the luxury hotel became a liability, and he was forced to place it in the care of his children, along with the rest of his name-brand business operations. As visiting dignitaries booked rooms at the hotel, Democrats began raising questions about a conflict of interest, and the courts repeatedly rejected lawsuits alleging Trump had violated the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution, which bans federal officials from receiving gifts or favors from foreign heads of state.
Despite the alleged grift, documents released by Congressional Democrats last November revealed the Trump Organization suffered some $70 million in losses operating the hotel. Still, being sold so dearly after being bought so cheaply, the family has still turned a profit.
The hotel’s north facade, which faces the broad boulevard of Pennsylvania Avenue, was also a magnet for protesters, who made it a regular stop on protest marches through the city against the Trump administration’s many objectionable policies.