The already tall task of finding a buyer at an acceptable price (to the Trump Organization) for the Trump International Hotel in D.C. got even more difficult now that its brokerage firm appears to have dropped the company as a client.
The Trump Organization’s plan to sell its luxury hotel in Washington, D.C. appears to be the latest business casualty as a result of Capitol Hill mob violence this week spurred on by President Donald Trump.
JLL, a commercial real estate brokerage firm that had been marketing the hotel to potential buyers, “is not going to be involved in selling that hotel,” according to a Washington Post reporter’s tweet Friday that quoted a company spokesperson.
The severed business relationship is the latest in a week where numerous Trump associates, Cabinet members, and even social media platforms distanced themselves or severed his access due to the role he played inspiring Wednesday’s attack of the U.S. Capitol.
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced their resignations this week along with numerous advisors. Twitter temporarily suspended Trump’s access to his account while Facebook and Instagram indefinitely banned him through at least the end of his presidency on Jan. 20.
Online shopping company Shopify removed Trump-related e-commerce sites from its platform.
The sale of the 263-room hotel, which opened in 2016, has been closely watched, given its reputation as a way to curry favor with Trump while he was in office. His sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, control the Trump Organization during his time in office, but the president still owns the company and could profit from its assets like the D.C. hotel.
Multiple lobbyists and diplomats from outside the U.S. reportedly booked rooms at the property, drawing criticism that it violated the U.S. Constitution’s Federal Emoluments Clause prohibiting payments from foreign governments.
The Trump Organization enlisted JLL to market the hotel for sale in late 2019 and hoped to find a buyer willing to pay at least $500 million — or more than $2 million per room — for lease rights, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. The Trump Organization leases the property, formerly the Old Post Office, from the U.S. General Services Administration.
Buyers affiliated with Hilton, Marriott, and other major brands were reportedly interested in the hotel at the beginning of 2020, but then came coronavirus. No bids were close to the $500 million asking price, and JLL announced in November the sale offering was on an indefinite hold.
It is unclear when JLL and the Trump Organization officially severed ties.
JLL did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Skift in time for publication nor did numerous third-party public relations firms that appeared to be working with the Trump Organization in recent months.
The Trump Organization’s listed press email on its website appeared to have been disconnected.
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Photo credit: Commercial real estate brokerage firm JLL is no longer involved in finding a buyer for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. James McNellis / Wikimedia