Housing Complex

Donald Trump Takes a Fawning D.C. by Storm

It's gonna be yooooge: Trump tells Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton about his plans for the hotel.

It's gonna be yooooge: Trump tells Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton about his plans for the hotel.

Break out the politicos, the superlatives, and the Apprentice jokes: Donald Trump is in town.

The real estate magnate, TV personality, and near-presidential candidate stopped by the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue this morning to present his plans to convert the 1899 building into a $200 million luxury hotel. Mayor Vince Gray, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, and half the D.C. Council turned out to heap praise on Trump and his aspirations for the Trump International Hotel. Trump will be leasing the property from the federal government for an initial base rent of $250,000 a month.

"Normally when you announce a hotel, two people show up," Trump said, impressed with the political-media circus that packed the conference room.

Trump spared no superlatives in describing his plans for the hotel. "The rooms will be incredible," he said. "The view are going to be absolutely amazing. The ballroom will be one of the great ballrooms in the country."

Trump, Norton, Gray, and others admire a rendering of a guest room at the hotel.

Trump, Norton, Gray, and others admire a rendering of a guest room at the hotel.

So what's going to be in the hotel? According to Trump's daughter Ivanka, "The design juxtaposes the strength and masculinity of the building with gentler touches." It'll include a grand atrium, or cortile, that interior designer Betsy Hughes of Hirsch Bedner Associates calls "the most dramatic, beautiful, and chic place in D.C."; a "library" whose walls will be line with bookcases; spacious guest rooms (an average of 600 square feet) with high ceilings; two presidential suites in the former offices of the postmaster general, with bulletproof windows; and entrances from 11th Street NW to both the hotel and the grand ballroom.

Trump highlighted his deep pockets as a reason that he was chosen over other developers to build the project, and a reason to expect big things from the hotel. "Cost is no object, 'cause if it were, I wouldn't do it," he said. "There are other ways to make a buck. It's like a painting."

Trump welcomes Gray to the event.

Trump welcomes Gray to the event.

Gray trumpeted the economic development the hotel will bring the city: $100 million of tax revenue over 10 years, 700 construction jobs over 18 months, and 300 permanent jobs. "This is a $200 million investment in the future of this city," Gray said, "and I can't think of a family better suited to it than the Trump family."

Trump tells me that he plans to set up "a group, a committee" to ensure that a sizable portion of both construction and permanent jobs at the hotel will go to D.C. residents.

Trump whispers something to Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, before telling him, "Just keep it up. Tough cookie."

Trump whispers something to Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, before telling him, "Just keep it up. Tough cookie."

The redevelopment of the Old Post Office has been a long time coming. When the building was completed in 1899, it was D.C.'s first steel-frame building. But there were multiple attempts to demolish it: first during the Great Depression, and again starting in the 1960s. A group of activists helped persuade the federal government, which has overseen the property, to keep it intact.

"You have to love a building that survived not just one, but two concerted efforts to demolish it," said Dorothy Robyn, commissioner of the General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service.

"They have put to rest the saga of the Old Post Office building," Norton said of the Trumps. "We've been trying for literally my entire time in Congress."

Trump talks to members of the D.C. Council. When he's introduced to them, he says, "Ah, this is the power."

Trump talks to members of the D.C. Council. When he's introduced to them, he says, "Ah, this is the power."

Trump says the room rates have yet to be set. When I ask if they're likely to be the priciest in town, he replies, "I dunno, depends what happens with the economy."

But Trump is not lacking in confidence. "What I do best is build," he told the crowd. "Better than The Apprentice, better than politics."

Ivanka Trump has taken the lead in coordinating the process—Norton said, "I've worked almost exclusively with Ivanka since the Trump Organization won this competition." And Donald Trump is keeping the pressure on his daughter.

"You better do a good job," he told her on stage, "or you're fired."


Donald and Ivanka Trump share a loving glance.

Below are renderings of the hotel:


The entrances on 11th Street NW.


The Grand Ballroom.


The cortile.

The library.

The library.

A king guest room.

A king guest room.

A queen guest room.

A queen guest room.

A guest bathroom.

A guest bathroom.

Photos by Aaron Wiener. Renderings from the Trump Organization.

  • Stephon

    What's embarrassing, but not shocking, is watching your "so called" leaders "jocking" Donald Trump. He didn't even know the members of the council. This man called President Obama every name in the book. You all should have seen it. It was nauseating watching these fools trying to get photo ops with this "twice" bankrupt clown. Even with his white privilege and a $600 million advance from his father, he still failed twice!! Please people, don't be impressed...

  • dc only

    You are absolutely correct. I think it is time for these "leaders" to retire. But don't worry this venture will probably fail and then guess who will be stuck with the bill?

  • Swingers

    Wonder if Trump's agitprop puppetmaster, Roger Stone, was in attendance? Nothing about the hyperbole suggests anything different then the usual ballyhoo around these projects. Ms. Hughes might want to get out more in DC before popping off. I'll wait 'til she tops the old LOC before I vote on the chic thing. Holmes Norton continues to embarass herself and us. Ivanka seems like a decent sort and a vast improvement over that dreadful Weymouth disaster. At least Ivanka knows enough to use a decent colorist and more frequently than one a year.

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  • Fearing Dystopia

    What could be better than having the grand ceremonial avenue of the nation's capitol city emblazoned with the grand ceremonial name of the nation's most crassly cringe-worthy self-promoting blowhard?

    I can only imagine that someone in GSA feared that if Trump's proposal was turned down, the Trump folk would attribute the rejection to The Donald's long, loud, and ranting questioning of Barack Obama's birthplace.


  • TheDonald

    Thanks for the pic of David Grosso who looks like he has a hard-on for the Trumpster. Made my day!

  • RealDC

    LOL..... The pictures of the council members and the mayor "gushing" over Trump is hilarious!!

    Grosso looks like he wants a "kiss".... lmao.

    Even the "old bag" from the Hill showed up. She never leaves the Hill for anything. She has probably the smallest congressional district in the country and never visits her constituents. Why do people keep re-relecting her? Insanity.

    DC's elected leadership getting "goose bumps" over this guy is embarrassing.... the Trump name made trade well in NY but in DC.... we'll see. How did Trump Vodka sell in DC??

    But the city needs more hotel rooms...... Small time DC pols....lol

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  • chris hauser

    only time will tell.

    meanwhile, trees will fall, paper will roll through the presses. extra extra.

    uh, wait, that was the old days.

    energy will burn, electricity will hum, bytes will fly, media media.

    only time will tell.

  • joann mcdonald.

    Wonder why Obama was not present.

    Where was Marion Barry. Barry can smell a rat.

  • Pingback: Trump Outlines Vision For Old Post Office Hotel Redevelopment (1100 Penn Ave NW) | Penn Quarter Living

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