Inside the Trump Organization’s rent roll

Estimated $175M in annual revenue from commercial tenants poses both known and unknown potential conflicts of interest

New York /
Feb.February 13, 2018 11:15 AM

President Donald Trump and Trump Tower (Credit: Getty Images)

When Donald Trump took office, the operations of his new Washington, D.C., hotel triggered lawsuits and congressional inquiries, focused on whether foreign governments were currying favor with the President of the United States through giving business to his latest luxury property. But most of Trump’s potential conflicts can be found in the businesses he’s been running for many years, at his office towers in Manhattan, where foreign governments and American corporations with significant matters before the federal government pay Trump millions a year in rent.

A new report by Forbes shows that these tenants pay an estimated $175 million in annual commercial rent to the Trump Organization, for much of which there is very little public reporting, due to Trump’s company being privately held. Current relationships between those paying businesses and their landlord, the president, are often difficult to asses.

Take Bank of China, for example, one of Trump Tower’s largest office tenants and which pays $2 million a year in rent. Bank of China is controlled by the Chinese government, which can choose to leave the tower when its lease expires next year. Forbes speculates that Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., could use their influence to entice the Chinese government to stay. And then there’s Trump’s 40 Wall Street, where drugstore Duane Reade is the biggest tenant, parent company Walgreens was in talks with the federal government over its merger with Rite Aide, which was ultimately approved by the Trump administration. Did that business relationship affect the outcome?

It’s not likely we will ever know for sure, which is why ethics experts recommended the president avoid these problems by selling his assets, something Trump refused to do. Capital One, GNC, Nike and other well-known corporations all pay rent to Trump and all face situations in which the government exerts significant influence on their operations, on everything from regulations to contracts.

And those are just the ones we know. Though Forbes found at least 164 commercial tenants across Trump’s property empire, government ethics officials have not been allowed to see the president’s rent roll. [Forbes]Will Parker


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Make Greenland Great Again? Trump wants to buy Arctic territory
Make Greenland Great Again? Trump wants to buy Arctic territory
Make Greenland Great Again? Trump wants to buy Arctic territory
Hamptons’ priciest summer rental to host MAGA extravaganza next month
Hamptons’ priciest summer rental to host MAGA extravaganza next month
Hamptons’ priciest summer rental to host MAGA extravaganza next month
Eric and Lara Trump with 502 Bald Eagle Drive in Jupiter (Getty, Google Maps)
More Trumps buy in South Florida: Eric, Lara paid $3M for Jupiter home
More Trumps buy in South Florida: Eric, Lara paid $3M for Jupiter home
Slate Property Group's Martin Nussbaum and a rendering of the project
Hakimian, Certes land $59M loan for East Harlem multifamily project
Hakimian, Certes land $59M loan for East Harlem multifamily project
Watch TRD Brand Studio’s first-ever webinar on the new office normal
Optimizing the office: TRD Brand Studio webinar on the new workplace normal
Optimizing the office: TRD Brand Studio webinar on the new workplace normal
President Joe Biden and New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh. (Getty, Department of Treasury)
Federal guidelines could complicate state’s rent relief rollout
Federal guidelines could complicate state’s rent relief rollout
The reopening of NYC has created a surge of demand for apartments. (Getty)
Reopening sparks signs of a real estate rush
Reopening sparks signs of a real estate rush
The Real Deal's Hiten Samtani and Urban Green Council CEO John Mandyck
Watch: Urban Green Council’s John Mandyck on tackling climate change in NY
Watch: Urban Green Council’s John Mandyck on tackling climate change in NY
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...