The Real Deal Los Angeles

Controversial developer Geoff Palmer is Trump’s biggest donor

Builder has chipped in $2M for presidential candidate's Super PAC

July 18, 2016 09:30AM

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The Orsini II at 550 North Figueroa Street, Donald Trump and developer Geoff Palmer

The Orsini II at 550 North Figueroa Street, Donald Trump and developer Geoff Palmer

Geoff Palmer wants to make America great again.

The infamous Beverly Hills developer has been revealed as Donald Trump’s most generous donor to date, having written a whopping $2-million check to the Trump Super PAC, Bloomberg reported, citing the Republican candidate’s latest FEC quarterly report.

Palmer is a polarizing figure in the Los Angeles real estate scene — L.A. Curbed called him Downtown’s worst developer — because of his massive faux-Italianate apartments such as the Orsini, the Medici and the most notorious Da Vinci, which was set on fire while it was still in development in 2014.

In the past, Palmer has called L.A.’s requirement to reserve a certain number of apartments as affordable housing “immoral” and has successfully railed against the policy in court. When building the Orsini in 2003, the developer was accused by the city of illegally demolishing the 1880s-built Queen Anne house.

Palmer is currently in the midst of another legal battle with the city, as officials sued him in February for not having an adequate fire protection plan for the Da Vinci.

Palmer doesn’t have a track record of political donations and has never given that much to candidates in the past, according to FEC data. Trump also received a smaller but still sizable $415,000 from his long-time friend and real estate investor Tom Barrack.

It was revealed in February that Palmer, despite his legal roadblocks, is now planning another major project: the 1,500-unit Ferrante at 1000 West Temple Street. [Bloomberg]Cathaleen Chen