Business

Trump Organization to reportedly sell DC hotel for $375M

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Former President Donald Trump’s company has reportedly reached a deal to sell its lease on the iconic Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, for $375 million.

CGI Merchant Group, a Miami-based investment firm, has entered into a contract to acquire the lease on the 19th-century building, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

CGI plans to remove the Trump branding from the hotel and has reached a deal with Hilton to re-brand the property and have it managed by Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria group, the Journal added.

The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, the report said.

The 122-year-old building, which is just a few blocks from the White House in the former Old Post Office Pavilion, is still owned by the federal government, but with extensions, the lease runs close to 100 years.

The sale price comes in lower than the $500 million payday the Trump Organization sought when they first shopped the lease in 2019.

The Trump Organization leased the building from the General Services Administration in 2013 and gave it a $250 million renovation to turn it into a luxury hotel before opening it to guests in 2016.

The Trump International Hotel.
The building is still owned by the federal government with a lease that runs 100 years.
Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It opened its doors just weeks before the presidential election that swept Trump into the White House.

As president, Trump hosted dozens of dinners in the hotel’s restaurant and caught flak from ethics watchdogs for encouraging administration officials to visit the facility.

One group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, logged 973 visits to the hotel by public officials during Trump’s term in office.

Donald Trump looks up as hotel employees watch.
The Trump Organization leased the building from the General Services Administration in 2013 and gave it a $250 million renovation.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Still, the coronavirus pandemic took a toll on the hotel as it did with many luxury hotels around the country.

Last month, a report from the House committee on oversight and reform found that the hotel lost more than $70 million between its opening in 2016 and last year, despite the boost in sales to foreign governments.

The Trump Organization had to inject $27 million from other parts of its business into the hotel and get preferential treatment from a major lender to delay payments on a $170 million loan to support the ailing property, the report found.

Donald Trump.
Former President Donald Trump caught flak for hosting dozens of dinners in the hotel’s restaurant while in office.
Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images

The Trump Organization has disputed those findings.

“People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell,” son Eric Trump told the Wall Street Journal in 2019, when the family first put the lease on the market.

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