City Desk

Trump Dynasty to Treat Economically Dubious Old Post Office Like Family Heirloom

Donald Trump's plans to turn the Old Post Office into a hotel are still shrouded in mystery, but what is clear is that not even the Donald's eventual passing will release us from his Turkish-bath-and-remote-controlled-drapes tyranny. The Post has a massive two-part package on Trump's plans that reveals Trump and his family will be interested in Washington for the long-haul. Like, two generations down the line long-haul (emphasis added):

Some within the GSA expected that the Trumps would scoff at having to lease the property for 60 years — a measure aimed at preventing a partner from flipping the treasured landmark and splitting town. But Ivanka [Trump] seemed to embrace the building’s permanence as a Trump property, suggesting that her daughter, Arabella Rose, then not yet five months old, would one day oversee it.“She fully anticipates her daughter growing up in the business and being out there years down the road negotiating the renewal,” said the official.

But perhaps the Trumps won't have it for that long! Donald Trump seems blasé about the dubious economics behind his project, which, after renovations, could set average room prices at a prohibitive $750 a night—$200 more than the nightly rate at Washington's Four Seasons, another top hotel.

Trump's competitors have said the hotel's finances don't make sense, and Trump isn't doing much to convince them otherwise:

Trump said he wasn’t so focused on making money and has no timeline for when the project ought to show a return on the investment. Is there a market of Washington travelers willing to pay up to $700 to stay in a hotel with his name on it?

“Maybe, and maybe not,” he said. “And you know if there isn’t, it’s okay, because we have a lot of money. And we’ll have a beautiful painting.”

Donald Trump, I shouldn't have to tell you this, but that's not how business works.

Whether the Old Post Office soars with brazen Trumpishness or reverts into its traditional role as a souvenir stand, though, the whole Trump affair will all be worth it for his inevitable blow-ups at the Wilson Building crew a block away.

Photo by Debby Wong /

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  • The Java Master

    Trump is known for blowing smoke on his highly speculative, and highly leveraged, real estate projects. He is a great self-promoter, only if because the media finds comic effect in both his hair style and characteritsic bluster ( birthers, anyone?) Unfortunately, highly leveraged, speculative projects often fail, as Trump well knows.

  • Typical DC BS

    It's 50/50 whether this project goes thru according to plan. His most grandiose projects often descend into financial difficulty and lawsuits. But, have no fear, his Wharton-educated daughter Ivanka (with her vast experience level in real estate development) will save the day!
    I can't wait for the inevitable issues that will arise with this project.