Trump Opts for DC Hotel
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 02:09
Donald Trump may be moving closer to the White House — with his acquisition of the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
The Trump Organization, which owns the Trump National Golf Club Washington, D.C., and Trump Winery — the largest winery on the East Coast in nearby Charlottesville, Va. — recently unveiled its $200 million hotel plans for the Old Post Office last week, which will include 250 rooms, several presidential suites, a spa and several conference facilities.
The Trumps, who originally signed a 60-year lease for the estate in early August, plan to begin renovations in spring 2014. Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions Ivanka Trump, who studied at Georgetown for two years before transferring to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002, said the hotel’s doors should open by 2016.
According to Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions Eric Trump (MSB ’06), location was the main impetus behind the company’s acquisition of the Old Post Office, which was built in 1899.
“The location and building can never be replicated, and we are going to transform the building into one of the most incredible hotels in the world,” Eric Trump wrote in an email to The Hoya.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has previously remarked that despite its designation as a top tourist destination with several historical landmarks, the District has a shortage of hotels, a void that the Trumps seek to fill.
Although the Trumps’ renovations call for bulletproof windows, fireplaces and two-person showers to fit with the Trump standard of luxury, Eric Trump stressed the importance of preserving the Old Post Office’s historical nature.
“The exterior of the building will largely remain the same, but the inside will undergo an incredible transformation,” Eric Trump wrote. “We plan on preserving the iconic pavilion and clock tower, in addition to the grand hallways, which will now lead to what will become the most iconic hotel rooms in the city boasting 16-foot ceiling height, views of the monuments and many other unprecedented amenities.”
The Trump Organization is also currently in negotiations to acquire the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s current headquarters.
The Hoover building, a D.C. landmark that opened in 1975, came across the Trumps’ radar after reports surfaced that the FBI was planning to move to a newly constructed headquarters in the area. The FBI building has previously faced criticism for its outdated, Brutalist-style architecture, and the Government Accountability Office has also reported that the building is aging, deteriorating and in need of serious repairs.
“It is very early in the process, but we have looked at the building,” Eric Trump wrote. “Whether or not we proceed, the development of the FBI building is great for the area and will increase traffic at shops and restaurants inside Trump International Hotel [at the Old Post Office].”
Although the Trump Organization does not have any set plans for the Hoover Building, Eric Trump cited the company’s success in acquiring the Old Post Office Building as a precedent for future D.C. bids. According to the Washington Post, the Trump Organization was originally considered a long shot for the Old Post Office.
“Ownership of assets is a key differentiator of the Trump brand as many other hotel brands are merely management companies and have little financial stake in their assets,” Eric Trump wrote.
“We often own, develop and operate the hotels in our portfolio, which allows us to be highly selective and sets an unparalleled standard of excellence within the hospitality industry.”
Since the Hoover Building was put on the market, the FBI reported that it has received approximately 35 offers.
Regardless of whether the company officially bids on the FBI building, Eric Trump said that D.C. is an important location for Trump Organization.
“We are very positive about D.C.’s long-term prospects,” Eric Trump wrote. “We are always looking for potential world-class projects with the Old Post Office being a perfect example.”