Trump Organization Puts Washington D.C. Hotel For Sale To Leave Broken City

( Former President Donald Trump is doing his best to remove himself and his business from the nation’s capital.

This week, it was revealed that the Trump Organization would try to sell a lease it has on a Washington hotel. The organization has hired Newmark to try to sell the lease that the Trump International Hotel in Washington currently has, sources told Bloomberg.

The sources said that the brokerage is seeking offers greater than $400 million for the lease. The hotel has 263 rooms.

This isn’t the first time the Trump Organization has tried to sell that lease. In October 2019, the property was put on the market with an asking price north of $500 million. That sale stalled, though, as the COVID-19 pandemic began just a few months later.

The company had first enlisted the services of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. to sell the lease as the broker. But, they parted with the Trump Organization at the same time that many corporations in the country tried to distance themselves from Trump himself.

Newmark, though is a part of a large financial services empire that’s run by billionaire Howard Lutnick, who is one of Trump’s supporters. In 2019, Lutnick held at fundraiser for Trump at the Cantor Fitzgerald that raised more than $5 million for the then-president’s re-election campaign.

The Trump Organization is hoping that the timing of listing the lease for sale will be better this time. The country seems to be coming out of the pandemic, with vaccinations and previous infections resulting in daily numbers dropping dramatically.

Now, states have begun to lift COVID-19 restrictions, which has led to an uptick in travel. Transactions in the tourism and lodging industries are beginning to pick up, too, as vacationers are acting on their pent-up demand to get out.

There have been two recent luxury hotels that have sold in the country for record prices. In May, the Four Seasons resort at Disney World sold for $610 million. A month earlier, the Montage Healdsburg, a hotel in wine country in California, sold for $265 million. That made it one of only a few properties to sell with a price tag of more than $2 million per room.

While luxury hotel properties seem to be selling in-line with what the prices were before the pandemic began, some other hotels in not-as-desirable locations are not. Lukas Hartwich, an analyst for Green Street, said those other hotels are selling for discounts of up to 35% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The Trump Organization D.C. hotel is located near the White House. The luxury property doesn’t have a lot of comparable properties. Part of the challenge of selling that lease is that corporate travel and group events are expected to recover slower than normal leisure travel, and Trump’s hotel is situated to attract the former not the latter.

Still, the property should be very attractive to buyers, considering its location so close to the White House and the fact that it’s first class. The question, then, is how much it will sell for, and whether it can break the city’s record of $1.3 million per room, which was set in 2016.