The Real Deal Los Angeles

Donald Trump is making millions selling the land around his exclusive Los Angeles golf club

Revenues at the GOP candidate’s Rancho Palos Verdes club increased by 20 percent this year, according to his PFD

May 26, 2016 05:09PM
By Hannah Miet, data compiled by Eda Kouch

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Donald Trump and his Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles in Rancho Palos Verdes

Donald Trump and his Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles in Rancho Palos Verdes

Donald Trump’s only property with reported income from land sales is in La La Land. It’s a more than 250-acre oceanfront site with a golf course tucked inside the elite and conservative L.A. County enclave of Rancho Palos Verdes. And while it might not be his yugest income-driver, it’s doing pretty well.

Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, The Donald’s only listed income-producing L.A. asset, saw its revenues increase by 20.2 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to Trump’s latest Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD) form filed with the Federal Election Commission. The asset, which includes a 45,000-square-foot clubhouse, brought in almost $27 million this year — $15.6 million in golf-related revenues and $11.3 million in land sales.

While it’s only the 7th biggest income producer out of Trump’s many golf clubs, it’s the only one that reported a second income stream from the sale of surrounding land.


Golf-related revenue at Donald Trump’s properties (credit: Eda Kouch, TRData)

Trump purchased the site for $27 million in 2002. The price was a steal because the former developers, Kenneth and Robert Zuckerman, had to file for bankruptcy protection after a portion of their fully-built course fell into the ocean. Trump swooped in, with elaborate additions. However, his relationship with Ranchos Palos Verdes has not exactly been rosy.

In 2008, he sued the city for $100 million on allegations of fraud and civil rights violations. He claimed Ranchos Palos Verdes refused to allow him to build a clubhouse terrace and other amenities that he said were necessary to maintain the “Trump image.” The city and Trump settled the lawsuit in 2012 but the terms were not disclosed.

He also had a scuffle surrounding the property with the state government. Trump was at odds with the California Coastal Commission after he erected a 70-foot flagpole with an almost 400-square-foot flag. The structure, erected in 2008, was unpermitted until earlier this year.  Initially, Trump refused to pay a $10,000 filing fee for the commission’s evaluation of the flagpole’s environmental effect on the coast.

“Since when do you have to pay to put up the American flag?” Trump said in the L.A. Times nine years ago.

The daily fee to golf at the club is $280. It is located, after a different battle with the city over naming the street, at 1 Trump National Drive. The property, which faces the Pacific Ocean, has two restaurants and hosts a wine and beer festival. It is also a popular location for weddings.