The Real Deal New York

Howard Lorber and real estate pals to raise money for Trump at Hamptons manse

John Catsimatidis to send his adult children
By Will Parker | August 15, 2018 10:45AM

Howard Lorber, Donald Trump, and Howard Lorber’s House in Southampton (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

President Trump will head to his friend Howard Lorber‘s sprawling Southhampton residence on Friday for a re-election fundraiser, and more New York real estate moguls will follow him.

Lorber, whose Vector Group owns Manhattan-based brokerage Douglas Elliman and development firm New Valley, will host a luncheon for the Trump Victory fund, a joint fundraising committee of the Republican Party and the Trump campaign.

According to a person familiar with the fundraiser who spoke to The Real Deal on the condition of anonymity, joining Lorber and Trump for the occasion will be developer Steve Witkoff and commercial property investor Stanley Chera. Chera and his wife Freida have given $514,000 to the fund to date, while Witkoff has donated $294,400, Federal Election Commission records show.

Lorber has personally donated at least $235,000 to the committee since 2016.

Another top donor to the fund, Red Apple Group CEO John Castmatidis, told TRD he would be missing the event but would send his two adult children, Andrea Catsimatidis and John Catsimatidis, Jr. in his place. Catsimatidis, whose family has given at least $200,000 to the joint committee since the 2016 election, said he assumed that many other real estate donors would be present. John Jr. made his own donation to the fund in 2017.

Other real estate investors who have given six-figure sums to Trump Victory include Tom Barrack, Steve Roth, Richard Lefrak, Peter Kalikow and Joseph Cayre. New York, Los Angeles and South Florida real estate businessmen accounted for roughly 20 percent of the fund’s donation haul in 2017, TRD reported earlier this year.

While the joint fund serves to rally support for the president, campaign finance rules dictate that most of the funds go not directly to the Trump campaign but to the Republican Party, a portion of which can then be spent on other candidates nationwide.

A representative for Lorber declined to comment. The Friday luncheon was first reported by Bloomberg.