Donald Trump has big plans for the Old Post Office. Huge.
“This can really be one of the great hotels of the world,” Trump said this morning during a real estate panel with daughter Ivanka Trump. But the Trump take on the Old Post Office won’t merely be great. At different points during the hour-long talk at the Washington Post‘s downtown headquarters, Trump and his daughter described the hotel and its amenities as “a home run,” unrivaled,” “incredible”—- the Washington equivalent of New York’s Grand Central Station.
“I love taking something that’s in trouble, and then bringing it back,” Trump said of the building, which he won a lease to turn into a hotel last year.
Washington Post Co. CEO Don Graham greeted the Trumps on the steps as they arrived, and earned some kind words for his paper’s hospitality—-and maybe more. When Washington Post Capitol Business editor Dan Beyers asked Trump how he would feel about buying the headquarters of an “iconic newspaper,” (like, say, the Post‘s), Trump responded that the deal “sounds good.”
But before that, there’s the Old Post Office. Trump seemed to be smarting from the terms he got on the lease, which analysts and rivals have claimed is financially impossible. “Would we do better if we spent less money?” Trump said. “Probably yes, but that’s not what we’re going to do.”
Where’s all that money going? Trump promises a renovated atrium, presidential suites, and fancier retail—-he hinted that Tiffany & Co. was interested. Tourists will be able to enter the building through a separate entrance, according to Ivanka Trump.
But the Trumps being Trumps, the panel couldn’t be limited to improvements and leases. Trump conceded that his unusual hair is “a topic of conversation,” and Ivanka explained her how she evaluates her time with daughter Arabella Kushner. (She asks herself, “Was I there for Arabella when she needed me?”). Trump père even treated the gathered reporters and Washington real estate players with his signature “You’re fired.”
Trump probably would’ve liked to fire moderator Mary Jordan, who described rival developers criticizing Trump for filing for bankruptcy. “I never went bankrupt,” Trump shot back, which is true, sort of.
Trump’s redesigned Old Post Office—-“one of the best hotels in the country!”—-is set to open in 2015.
Photo by Will Sommer