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Trump approved for 60-year lease of historical Old Post Office

By Leigh Goessl     Aug 9, 2013 in Business
Washington - The deal between the U.S. General Services Administration and real estate tycoon Donald Trump has been finalized. Trump can now move forward with plans to redevelop Washington D.C.'s historic Old Post Office. His company has secured a 60-year lease.
On Aug. 5, The Trump Organization finalized its deal with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) with plans to redevelop the historic Old Post Office. The building, which was completed just before the turn of the 20th century, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places list in 1973.
It is a highly visible landmark in the U.S. Capital city with gorgeous architecture.
With this approval, which Congress had 30 days to turn down once the deal was put together, Trump has secured a 60-year lease which will enable Trump Hotel Collection to move forward with plans to complete the $200 million redevelopment. The company plans to turn the iconic landmark into a "super-luxury hotel". Construction is set to commence in Spring 2014 with a grand opening planned for the end of 2015. Trump's company will assume all expenses associated with the renovation.
It'll cost Trump $250,000 a month for the lease.
"This is an exciting moment in the TRUMP HOTEL COLLECTION history. We are thrilled to move forward with our plans to transform one of the nation's most iconic landmarks into the world's finest hotel. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly," said Donald J. Trump, president and chairman of The Trump Organization in a press release. "The Trump Organization is committed to preserving the architectural integrity of The Old Post Office while creating a hotel that will be peerless both in its amenities and design."
Talk of Trump redeveloping the property has been publicized for months now, as the GSA selected his company as the developer last year.
The hotel will have over 270 guest rooms, penthouses, and presidential suites. Additionally, there will be a spa, banquet and ballrooms, café, bar and lounge, along with "world-class" restaurants, said the release.
Other plans by Trump's company include a library, gardens and a museum.
The GSA said allowing the historic property to be developed will save taxpayers millions of dollars and simultaneously preserve the building.
According to media reports, the space has been underutilized, with only 225,000 of the building's 315,000 square feet being used (having been there a number of times myself, it is clear parts of the building were either empty or used for storage).
Currently, the building houses a food court, souvenir shops and other shopping. The Federal Times reported the building costs $6 million per year to maintain.
"The Trump Organization may be New York based, but they have been working with us here in the Congress in great anticipation of developing a hotel in the nation's capital since winning the competition required by our bill, the Old Post Office Redevelopment Act. I look forward to continuing this relationship as the project proceeds, to provide the nation's capital with a trophy hotel, bringing revenue for the federal and D.C. governments alike, and jobs for D.C. residents," said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
There are mixed feelings on the decision, as In The Capital notes. Many in the region probably share an apprehension of what transformations might happen to the familiar landmark.
The National Park Services will continue to run the tower and elevator, which will remain open to the public. Digital Journal reported on a trip to the top of the tower last summer with some photos showing the views.
Trump said information regarding the hotel's design will be shared in the next few weeks.
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