WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's real estate empire is getting some prime property on Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of the nation's capital.
The General Service Administration, which has been looking to the private sector to inject new life into the languishing Old Post Office Pavilion, announced Tuesday that it is awarding the Trump organization the redevelopment rights for the historic federal structure.
According to The Washington Post, the Trump organization is planning a hotel with at least 250 rooms.Robert Peck, commissioner of the GSA's Public Buildings Service, said according to the Post:
Deciding to move forward with redeveloping this iconic property will save millions in taxpayer dollars each year. The tremendous response from the private sector allowed us to select a proposal that will provide a consistent revenue stream for the Federal Government and better utilize a historic property on our nation's Main Street.
The 113-year-old Romanesque building, with a large glass-topped atrium, stands in the middle of Federal Triangle at 12th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue, part way between the White House and the Capitol.
The process of finding the right private sector developer for the burdensome, money-losing Old Post Office has dragged on for months.
As Washington City Paper's Lydia DePillis reported earlier this month, some congressional leaders have been getting antsy, including Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure's subcommittee on economic development, public buildings and emergency management.
Now there's a developer.
What does the Trump organization have in store for the Old Post Office Pavilion?According to a Trump media advisory:
Seen as a generational asset by the Trump family, the redevelopment plan will infuse the building with new life. Plans for Trump International Hotel, The Old Post Office, Washington, D.C. include the highest-caliber features and amenities -- with more than 250 expansive guest rooms, penthouses and presidential suites; world-class restaurants, a café, and a bar and lounge; extensive banquet, ballroom and meeting facilities; The Spa at Trump®; and a library -- as well as a curated museum, exhibition gallery, and indoor and outdoor gardens – all preserving the integrity of the historic structure.
"We are extremely honored and committed to making this the finest hotel in the country, if not the world," Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions, said in the advisory.
In order to bid on the Old Post Office contract, prospective developers had to preserve public access to the iconic 315-foot bell tower, home to an observation deck operated by the National Park Service.
More than a decade ago, the General Service Administration chose the Kimpton hotel chain to redevelop the historic Old Tariff Office Building on F Street NW into the luxury Hotel Monaco. That building dates to 1839.
During the Bush administration, then-lobbyist Jack Abramoff had his eyes on the Old Post Office, wanting to turn the structure into a luxury hotel for some of his Indian tribal clients.