Friday, May 27 2022

NEW YORK (AP) — The lease of the Washington, DC hotel run by Donald Trump’s family business while he was president, a symbol of his power for GOP politicians who gathered there and corruption for his detractors, was sold by his family company to a Miami-based fund of investors.

The Trump Organization said Wednesday it had completed the sale of a long-term lease of 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, earning the Trump family business possibly up to $100 million in profit.

The new owners plan to remove the Trump name from the facade and rebrand the hotel as Waldorf Astoria. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that the group of investors includes former Yankee slugger Alexander Rodriguez.

Many hotel brokers, owners and consultants did not expect the 263-room hotel down the street from the White House to fetch such a high price. The hotel has lost more than $70 million over the four years of Trump’s presidency, including every year before the pandemic shutdown.

The hefty price tag, equivalent to more than $1.4 million per room, caught the attention of Democratic lawmakers. Earlier this month, the US House Oversight Committee requested documents from CGI listing all of its investors.

The hotel was a magnet for lobbyists, diplomats and others seeking to curry favor with the president. Democrats said it tarnished the reputation of the presidency, pitted its financial interests against the public interest and possibly broke the law. Several lawsuits challenging his ownership have failed.

The hotel is the old post office building and is still officially owned by the federal government. The Trump Organization won the right to repair the building and run it as a hotel by paying the government annual rent and a cut in profits.

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