The Real Deal New York

A look inside Trump’s famed Plaza deal

12 fascinating facts about one of Trump’s biggest triumphs and failures

January 16, 2016 03:00PM


Oft-controversial Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has owned a lot of New York real estate over his decades-long career, but few are as iconic as the Plaza Hotel. Here are 12 facts about how precisely that deal went down and how Trump ultimately lost the Plaza, via the New York Times.

1. Trump negotiated the deal for the Plaza with Tom Barrack — who represented Texas billionaire and Plaza Hotel owner, Robert Bass — in just 30 minutes.

2. The owners expected the hotel to fetch as much as $500 million at auction.

3. Trump paid $407.5 million for the hotel, a tremendous amount for a hotel at the time. But he said: “It wasn’t purely about the bottom line.”

4. Trump agreed to a no contingency deal.

5. A rent-controlled tenant named Fannie Lowenstein stood in the way of Trump’s plans for a condo conversion.

6. To get Lowenstein out, they had to give her a room in the Plaza almost 10 times larger than her studio with a view of Central Park rent-free for life — also, new furniture and a Steinway piano.

7. Trump handled nearly all of the negotiations for the Plaza himself.

8. The Plaza lost $74 million the first year into Trump’s ownership.

9. In the meantime, Trump racked up some $900 million of debt by personally guaranteeing building loans.

10. Trump signed over nearly all of his properties, including the Plaza, his yacht and his jet, in exchange for more favorable terms on his personal guarantees.

11. The Plaza was in bankruptcy protection just one year after Trump bought it.

12. Seven years later, the hotel sold for $325 million to a partnership between Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia and CDL Hotels International of Singapore.

[NYT] Christopher Cameron