CGI Merchant Group, a Miami-based investment firm, is reportedly in talks to acquire the 263-key Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., for more than $370 million, according to the The Wall Street Journal.
The D.C.-based property is owned by the federal government, but in 2013, the Trump Organization signed a 60-year lease at the site, formerly the headquarters of the U.S. Postal Service, and pays the federal government about $3 million a year in rent, according to public records.
In April 2020, the Trump Organization paused an attempt to sell the leasing rights to the hotel due to the economic slowdown created by the coronavirus. The previous fall, Commercial Observer reported that the Trump Organization was selling the rights to the historic hotel, with several outlets revealing the price would be around $500 million.
That number has come down significantly. Of course, while Donald Trump was president, the hotel was flush with lobbyists, foreign government officials, lawmakers and others with business before the Trump administration. But numbers have fallen greatly since then.
Located at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the Trump International includes 34 suites plus a separate “Trump Townhouse” — a 6,300-square-foot, townhouse-style suite with its own entrance. The main lobby restaurant, BLT Prime, is operated by chef David Burke.
CGI has also begun discussions with hotel operators such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings’s Waldorf Astoria luxury brand about removing the Trump name in favor of that of another hotel manager, WSJ reported.
The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform is looking into the lease terms between the Trump Organization and the federal government’s General Services Administration (GSA), a deal that predates Trump’s political career, to make sure there were no conflicts of interest while he was in office.
A report last week from the House committee revealed the hotel lost more than $70 million between 2016 and 2020, but the Trump Organization has disputed those claims.
Trump’s most recent disclosure, which represented the time period between Jan. 1, 2020, and the first few weeks of January 2021, showed the hotel’s revenue fell to $15 million from $40 million in 2019.
The GSA, which manages the government’s real estate holdings, would be involved in the approval process for any sale of the lease.
Keith Loria can be reached at email@example.com.