These days, Donald Trump is after more than reality TV ratings and tea party zealots. America’s best-known real estate mogul is moving in on DC. With potential political aspirations and three recent real estate investments under his belt, I can’t help but ask: Could “The Donald” be our new neighbor?
In 2009, Trump redirected his luxury golf empire investments (already in New York, Florida and California) to the DC area, with the purchase of a Northern Virginia country club (Trump National Golf Club) that sits on the Potomac River.
Last summer, news broke that Trump purchased the infamous 1,000 plus acre Kluge estate and winery near Charlottesville. Currently, Trump’s son Eric is running the vineyard. And while the land is not in DC, like other Virginia wineries, it is considered a playground for District residents on the weekends.
And the latest on his list of DC purchases? A Pennsylvania Avenue address. (No, not that one…) This past year, Trump purchased the Old Post Office Building, with plans to turn the historic landmark into a luxury hotel with his daughter, Ivanka.
I can’t help but wonder what’s next… Will Trump be the one to swoop in and rescue the Lincoln Theatre? Maybe he will join the long list of luxury apartment and restaurant developers along the U and 14th Street NW Corridors?
Perhaps I am being too quick to react, but I can’t help myself from cringing at the thought of more Trump acquisitions in the District. Really, Donald Trump is no different from other real estate investors who want to capitalize on the up-swing of our nation’s capital, but each purchase in DC gives him more power and more ability to commercially exploit the city that I love so much. The last thing I want is for the District to be just another shiny souvenir the Trumps add to their shelf of conquests and collection of properties and brands.
Old Post Office to Become Trump Hotel
In a move that is already causing shock waves through DC, the General Services Administration selected a proposal from Trump Hotels (yes, that Trump) to redevelop the Old Post Office. The The Washington Post reports that, despite its listing on the National Register of Historical Places, the property was deemed under-utilized.
The plans from the Trumps call for a luxury hotel, “on par with the Plaza in New York” at the historic location, which maintains the historic facade and details inside.
The property now loses over $6 million a year, despite its tony address and one of the best roof views in DC. Plans for the bell tower and public roof access have yet to be released.
More Info on Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
You may have heard that California chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will make its debut in DC soon. The store will open in February (soon) in the Washington Hilton, says the Washington Business Journal. Expect free wi-fi, baked goods and plenty of conference attendees in the building better known to long time Borderstanis as the Hinckley Hilton.
Local Non-Profit Gets National Recognition
Have you been meaning to volunteer in 2012 and have yet to make it out of your house? While you should still pursue that goal, you can do a good deed for a local non-profit that is doing a load of good for girls across the globe. So go vote for Andrea Powell as one of Diane Von Furstenberg’s Awards nominees (blonde, right center). She is the executive director of FAIR Girls, which offers empowerment and education to girls in perilous situations.
FAIR Girls runs several programs, including one-on-one counseling for victims of sex trafficking, compassionate care, education and empowerment, that benefit young girls and women in DC, across the US, Bosnia, Serbia, Uganda, Russia and so on. Get involved with them here and be sure to vote today.