Inside the Trump Organization’s rent roll

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

TRD 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
President Donald Trump and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (Trump by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Image; Vance by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

Trump Org may be focus of broader fraud investigation by Manhattan DA

Trump Org may be focus of broader fraud investigation by Manhattan DA
28 Liberty Street (Wikipedia)

Manhattan’s office leasing sees busiest month since January

Manhattan’s office leasing sees busiest month since January
President Donald Trump (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images; iStock)

Trump says he is “going to stop” evictions

Trump says he is “going to stop” evictions
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Schumer by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images; McConnell by Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty)

Schumer v. McConnell on SALT: Who’s gonna give?

Schumer v. McConnell on SALT: Who’s gonna give?
From left: Jared Kushner, 715 Park Avenue, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing, and Rosemary Vrablic (Credits: Kushner by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images; 715 Park via Google Maps; Sewing by by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images; Vrablic by PAUL LAURIE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Apartment sale to banker for Trump and Kushner probed

Apartment sale to banker for Trump and Kushner probed
Maison Kayser (Photo via Tools of Men via Flickr)

Maison Kayser may bid New York adieu

Maison Kayser may bid New York adieu
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...