Federal investigators investigate Trump SoHo sale

By Zuri Berry, CNN • Updated 11th May 2018 This story has been updated to include comment from Colony Capital and Northstar Group. Federal regulators are investigating the 2016 deal to buy the Trump…

Federal investigators investigate Trump SoHo sale

By Zuri Berry, CNN • Updated 11th May 2018

This story has been updated to include comment from Colony Capital and Northstar Group.

Federal regulators are investigating the 2016 deal to buy the Trump SoHo hotel-condo building in New York City.

According to the latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is looking into the proposed acquisition by Colony Capital and Northstar Group of the luxury hotel and residences complex in SoHo.

Colony Capital did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The sale came as no surprise — the real estate billionaire, businessman and former reality TV star was unable to secure financing for construction on his much-publicized effort to renovate the structure.

“This buyout transaction closes the door on the Trump Organization’s legacy building in New York and creates a great opportunity for the City to create the first truly iconic, mixed-use, mixed-income high rise development in the heart of Downtown,” Jonathan Gray, a partner at Colony Capital, said in a statement to CNNMoney after the sale was completed in October 2016.

Then, real estate veteran Bill Shanahan, the former CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle, agreed to buy the property and complete the renovation for $240 million. He said in the same statement that his goal was to give the structure, which once housed one of the world’s most popular nightclubs, a “fresh new look.”

For months the new owner was praised by Trump’s spokeswoman for not giving the deal a presidential endorsement. In January 2016, just one month before the election, Trump said he was “thrilled” that the Trump SoHo had been sold.

“Excellent! This so-called deal, that should have never happened, was such a mistake by the previous tenant,” he tweeted.

Since leaving the White House, Trump has continued to make his fortune in real estate, sitting on his executive vice president’s board of China Casinos and extending high-profile real estate investments such as the one he did in Bali last year, despite the new president’s promises to close off business with China.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story, in fact, stated that the condominium sale of the Trump SoHo was part of a real estate investment trust. The details of the agreement in question were included in a filing with the SEC.

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