The Donald Is Trump-ifying a D.C. Landmark

Donald Trump Hotel
Manuel Balce Ceneta/APDonald Trump, left, with his daughter, Ivanka Trump, at the unveiling of the design for the Trump International Hotel in the Old Post Office building in Washington last year.
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has big plans for the Old Post Office building, a historic structure in downtown Washington that he's pledging to transform into the city's most luxurious hotel. As for the White House, four blocks away? He's not saying.

The real estate mogul and reality TV star was all business in his visit to the nation's capital Wednesday for a ceremonial groundbreaking outside the 115-year-old building -- shaking hands, posing for pictures with gold-plated shovels and praising Democratic political leaders for their cooperation.

The Old Post Office is on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol. Its 315-foot clock tower is the third-tallest structure in the District of Columbia, trailing only the Washington Monument and a Roman Catholic basilica, and it offers rare panoramic views of downtown.

Built to house the U.S. Post Office Department headquarters, the Romanesque Revival building has been underutilized in recent years, housing small vendors that catered mostly to tourists. The Trump Organization won a $200 million contract with the federal government to turn it into a luxury hotel with 270 guest rooms and suites, restaurants, retail and a 13,000-square-foot ballroom. Trump hopes the renovation will be finished in mid-2016, before the next presidential election.

"It's really the best location in D.C. by far. I mean, everybody acknowledges that," Trump said in an interview after the ceremony. "We're going to do a building the likes of which D.C. has never seen. I think it will be one of the fine hotels anywhere in the world, and maybe the finest."

Trump, a Republican, has openly pondered a presidential bid on multiple occasions. Asked whether building a hotel so close to the White House would rekindle his political ambitions, Trump said only that he wanted to share his vision of success with the nation's capital.

"It will show how to get things done because we know how to build, we know how to create beautiful things, important things, and we know how to create jobs," he said. "That's what the country has to be doing."

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the District in Congress, has led the push to renovate the building and said the government has found ideal partners in Trump and his daughter Ivanka, the lead developer on the project.

"Look at what the Old Post Office had been reduced to -- something of an ugly duckling on Pennsylvania Avenue," Norton said. "I think we're about to see the grand old lady back in her iconic glory."

Because the building will become a Trump International Hotel, it will carry Trump's name, but with more subtlety than he's known for.

"The name will be on it somewhere," Trump said, "but it will be very discreet."

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lyleva

Trump is all about Trump..and boringly so!

July 24 2014 at 10:40 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
chitt9111

D Trump is a successful business man n employs thousands n him n his family are a class act , n uneducated ovomit needs to be removed from our white house in handcuffs in 2014,n deported along with all his illegal immigrants he let "BREAK' into America~~~"TRUMP / USA "~"TRUMP / USA "~"TRUMP / USA "!

July 24 2014 at 9:14 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chitt9111's comment
as400az

What a dweeb. Take your meds.

July 24 2014 at 2:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jhrooney

Trump is too busy building things to take time fundraising.

July 24 2014 at 9:08 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Irrenmann

Say what you want about Trump: he builds buildings, usually on time and under budget.

July 24 2014 at 5:59 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
denj1

Who cares?

July 23 2014 at 8:13 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to denj1's comment
gramargo

I don't really care, but I do have to wonder about how he will have his name on the thing "discreetly" when he's never yet been discreet about anything!

July 23 2014 at 9:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Charlie Jackson

So basically Trump is the king of bankruptcies and a royal manipulator -- I think??

July 23 2014 at 8:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
surfndsand

He knows how to declare bankruptcy and leave his partners and lenders holding the bill. This is a man that is a pro at using the system to further his ambitions, at the cost of others.

"Trump has never apologized for using Chapter 11 as a business tool — indeed, when he spoke to my FORBES colleague Keren Blankfeld recently, he noted that many “great entrepreneurs” have used bankruptcy to restructure debt, free up capital and improve their businesses. From a Forbes article:

“I’ve cut debt — by the way, this isn’t me personally, it’s a company,” Trump said. “Basically I’ve used the laws of the country to my advantage and to other people’s advantage just as Leon Black has, Carl Icahn, Henry Kravis has, just as many, many others on top of the business world have.”

But to those uninitiated in bankruptcy laws, four instances of corporate bankruptcy in a row can seem staggering. “To the ordinary person in the street, it may seem surprising, but certainly not to me,” said Reed Smith partner Michael Venditto, who has represented clients in high profile Chapter 11 cases, including bankrupt airline TWA. “Chapter 11 is how you reshape and restructure a company that has problems. It doesn’t indicate anything nefarious or even bad management.”

Ah, the system lets me do this so it must be ok. Really Donald? Wonder whats is wrong with the system that allows this or the guy that thinks it is perfectly ok? The lack of honor and integrity astounds me and yet this passes for what is acceptable and even emulated. Make a go of it...and make a bundle....fail....and let other loose their investment...all while you walk away smiling.

July 23 2014 at 8:07 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Charlie Jackson

Trump stands for the Great American Failures----- Taj Mahal, Trump shuttle and and his TV shows.

July 23 2014 at 7:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Charlie Jackson

I don't think trump is ready to build anything yet----He is busy with finding the birth certificate and college records

July 23 2014 at 7:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
chitt9111

D Trump is one of the greatest men in our country, as he stands behind America n with american unions building his buildings~~>ovomit n his lard arse american hatin racist wife are both non union n non american n both need to be removed from our white house in handcuffs in 2014 n deported along with all the illegal immigrants ovomit let ":BREAK" into America.

July 23 2014 at 7:25 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply