International

Trump has sold $118m worth of property since taking office

After Donald Trump won the 2016 election, business inside the Trump Organization slowed down.

Hotels and apartment buildings scraped the Trump brand off of their projects, customers at the president’s most important golf resort booked fewer stays and deals for new developments dried up

All of that left his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., with few options for expanding their father’s business. They could, however, generate some cash by selling off properties.

Luckily for Trump, he entered the Oval Office sitting on a lot of inventory—luxury apartments, undeveloped lots and other real estate he has acquired over the years.

Since he took office, his sons have quietly traded a boatload of it. While other Trump ventures have grabbed more headlines, Donald Trump’s sons have unloaded $118 million worth of the president’s real estate since his January 2017 inauguration, striking deals everywhere from New York City and Los Angeles to Charleston, South Carolina, and the Dominican Republic.

Nearly all of the sales came before 2020, when the pandemic slammed real estate values. The Trumps have bought almost nothing with their newly gained cash, other than an $18.5 million mansion next to Mar-a-Lago that was previously owned by the president’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry. Instead, they mostly seem to be using the money to tend to their properties and pay down debt.

The Trumps appear to be looking to sell even more assets. Last year, they explored offloading the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.—at an asking price well above what it was likely worth.

Recently they reportedly began to consider letting go of Seven Springs, the lavish Westchester, New York compound Trump has owned for years but has been unable to commercially develop.

Here’s all of the real estate the Trump Organization has sold during Donald Trump’s term in the White House:

1. Spring Creek Towers

Spring Creek Towers
Location: Brooklyn
What he sold: 4% interest in the federally subsidized housing complex
What he got: $33 million (est.)

Fred Trump amassed a huge portfolio of real estate, mainly in Brooklyn and Queens. By the time Donald Trump took office, nearly all of it had been sold away.

The biggest remaining piece, a 4% interest in the massive housing complex, was sold by the property’s managers in 2018 for $905 million. The cashout, which according to property records required the approval of Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, has put more cash into the president’s pockets than any other sale during his presidency.

2. Undeveloped lots in California

Trump National Golf Club
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
What he sold: 11 lots
What he got: $23 million

Since 2017, the Trump Organization has sold nearly a dozen cliffside lots—situated next to the Trump International Golf Club Los Angeles, overlooking the Pacific Ocean—for prices ranging from $1.5 million to $3.8 million.

The Trumps are still in the process of convincing city planners to grant approval to sell another 23 parcels nearby.

3. Trump International Hotel Las Vegas

Trump International Hotel
Location: Las Vegas
What he sold: More than five dozen condo units
What he got: $18 million

The most active property in terms of unit sales during the Trump presidency, the Trumps and partner Phil Ruffin have been quietly unloading condo units in the 64-story tower they opened near the Vegas Strip in 2008.

The partners have sold more than five dozen studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments since Trump took the oath of office, yielding the Trump Organization about $18 million in revenue for their half of the deals.

Sales have tapered off in recent years, falling from nearly $7 million in 2017 to $4.4 million in 2019.

4. Trump Park Avenue

Trump Park Avenue
Location: Manhattan
What he sold: One penthouse
What he got: $16 million

Just a month after the inauguration, the Trumps made an eyebrow-raising deal, selling the Park Avenue penthouse previously occupied by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to a woman named Angela Chen, who runs a business peddling access to Chinese officials and allegedly has ties to Chinese military intelligence.

Chen paid $15.9 million—a hefty sum considering that, only one year earlier, a virtually identical penthouse just one floor lower sold for nearly $2 million less than that.

(The Trump Organization told Forbes that the deal “was reviewed and approved by outside ethics counsel.”) The president still owns 17 apartments in the building, which he converted from a hotel into luxury residences in the early 2000s.

5. California mansion

Trump Beverly Hills Home
Location: Beverly Hills
What he sold: One 5,400-square-foot home
What he got: $13.5 million

In May 2019, Trump sold his West Coast abode—a five bedroom, six bathroom mansion across Sunset Boulevard from the Beverly Hills Hotel—to a company called Hillcrest Asia Ltd., which has ties to Hary Tanoesoedibjo. 

“The Donald Trump Of Indonesia,” Tanoesoedibjo is partners with the Trump Organization on two luxury residential developments in the southeast Asian nation.

He has political ambitions of his own: “In America, you have ‘Make America Great Again,'” he told Forbes in 2017. “Here, ‘Make Indonesia Great Again.’ That’s why I’m getting into politics”.

6. Trump Parc East
Trump Parc East
Location: Manhattan
What he sold: 3 condo units
What he got: $7 million

When Trump took office, he held 15 condos and about 7,000 square feet of retail and storage space in the 14-story building he has controlled since the 1980s.

The Trump Organization sold three of the apartments in 2019, all in the $2 million range, and all to limited liability corporations that shield the identity of the buyer. 

7. South Carolina warehouse

Trump Warehouse
Location: North Charleston, SC
What he sold: One warehouse
What he got: $4 million

Trump ended up owning a nondescript, rusting warehouse in a North Charleston industrial park after bailing his son Don Jr. out of a bad business venture in 2014.

Don Jr. and a group of investors bought the place as part of a prefab concrete business they hoped would revolutionize low-cost home building. The venture never took off, leaving Don Jr. and two others on the hook for a $3.65 million Deutsche Bank loan they had personally guaranteed.

Days before the loan became due, Donald Trump purchased the debt and foreclosed on the property, taking his son off the hook. The president quietly sold the building, which had a history of roof leaks and environmental contamination, in February 2018.

8. Land in the Dominican Republic

Location: Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
What he sold: Land in the Dominican Republic
What he got: $3 million

In apparent violation of Trump’s pledge not to do new foreign deals while in office, the Trump Organization sold an unknown piece of land to an unknown buyer in the Dominican Republic in 2018.

The property was likely tied to Cap Cana, a resort area where Trump once inked a deal to license his brand to a community of luxury oceanfront properties until the partnership soured after the real estate market crashed; the Trumps sued their business partners, accusing them of “textbook fraud.”

Eric Trump traveled to Cap Cana in February 2017 and even posed for a photo with his former partners. “We are excited to be working with the Trump Organization in the future phases of the project,” the former partners said in a post on their website.

Less than a year later, however, the Trumps sold what appears to be the only piece of land they owned there.

9. Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Trump International Hotel
Location: Chicago
What he sold: Parking spaces
What he got: $300,000 (est.)

Donald Trump still owns 177 residential units and an estimated 138 parking spaces in the skyscraper’s garage.

While he has been in office, the Trump Organization has sold a handful of parking spaces in the building—at prices ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 per spot—for an estimated total of $300,000.

10. Residential real estate in Virginia

Norfolk, VA
Location: Norfolk, VA
What he sold: 25% stake in unknown real estate
What he got: $150,000

One of the president’s smallest holdings, Trump entered the White House owning a 25% stake in “residential real estate” in Norfolk, Virginia through an entity called “Country Properties, LLC.”

He never disclosed what the real estate was, though it was likely tied to his father, who reportedly built 10% of all the wartime housing in the Norfolk area during World War II. When the property was sold in April 2018, Trump got $150,000.