WASHINGTON -- It's official: Donald Trump is coming to D.C.
Trump first revealed plans to develop the historic Old Post Office building into a luxury hotel back in 2012; on Wednesday, the real estate mogul and the General Services Administration announced an agreement to begin work on the property.
Construction could start as early as the first quarter of 2014, reports to The Washington Post, although the deal must first go "before Congress for a 30-day waiting period, though the deal does not require congressional action."
The Trump Organization proposal calls for converting the Old Post Office to a luxury hotel with more than 260 rooms, along with world renowned restaurants, an expansive spa, and conference and ballroom facilities, while preserving and enhancing all of its historic features. The redevelopment is expected to start in 2014 with the hotel opening scheduled in 2016. Under the agreement, the Old Post Office's clock tower will continue to be open to the public and will continue to be managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service.
When Trump's real estate plans were first revealed back in February 2012, not all Washington residents were thrilled by the "The Apprentice" host's takeover of the D.C. landmark.
As one man told The Huffington Post, "I [am] disappointed, only because Trump has created some architectural monstrosities."
The Washington Post's Petula Dvorak, however, thinks Trump will "fit right in on Pennsylvania Avenue":
He’s got the persistence of a lobbyist, the family money of a past president or two, the shamelessness of a scandal-plagued senator, the marital track record of at least one former House speaker (ahem) and the self-promotional drive that draws so many of America’s student council presidents to the nation’s capital.
One worry Washingtonians needn't have: losing access to the 315-foot high clock tower observation deck. As HuffPost reported in 2012:
The conditions of redevelopment ensure this won't happen, as one provision mandates that public access to the tower and its observation deck be maintained. As a historic landmark, much of the structure is also protected from major changes.
The 114-year-old Old Post Office currently loses more than $6 million a year.