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Trump’s First Building to be Torn Down

Polipace Staff

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The building that helped Donald Trump make a name for himself in his first big deal in Manhattan is being sold to developers who plan to tear it down.

Developer TF Cornerstone said Thursday that it and a group managing billionaire Michael Dell’s money have agreed to buy the Grand Hyatt New York next to Grand Central Terminal and replace it with a mixed-used tower that will include office and retail space and a smaller hotel.

Trump partnered with the Hyatt Corp. to buy what was then the Commodore Hotel in the late 1970s in his first splash in Manhattan real estate. He refurbished it into a sleek glass tower and used its success as a stepping stone to his next big gamble a few years later, the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.

Trump sold his stake in the Grand Hyatt in 1996.

Neither the White House nor the Trump Organization responded to requests for comment.

When Trump struck a deal to buy the Commodore from the bankrupt Penn Central Corp., the city itself was on the verge of bankruptcy and most other developers were not interested.

As Trump tells it, he realized there was something special about the Commodore after a walk by the hotel early one morning.

“The lobby was so dingy it looked like a welfare hotel,” he wrote in “The Art of the Deal,” but then his eye caught a hopeful sign. “There were thousands of well-dressed Connecticut and Westchester commuters flooding onto the streets from Grand Central Terminal and the subway stations below. The city was on the verge of bankruptcy, but what I saw was a superb location.”

Eager to make his mark in Manhattan, Trump took the plunge, using guaranteed loans from his father and generous tax abatements from the city.

Within a few years, he transformed the tired, old Commodore into a gleaming, reflective-glass tower. His timing was near perfect, too. He opened the hotel just before the start of 1980s boom and was soon able to rent rooms for as much as $1,100 a night.

In the latest deal, the new building will cover 2 million square feet and include a new Grand Hyatt with 500 rooms. The current hotel has 1,298 rooms.

The deal still requires local and state approval. The land under the Grand Hyatt is owned by the Empire State Development Corp., the state’s business-development arm.

TF Cornerstone’s partner in the deal is MSD Partners, which invests assets owned by Dell and his family. Dell is the founder of Dell Technologies and is estimated by Forbes to be worth $34 billion.

Polipace.com is an independent political news site dedicated to exposing the truth.

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Trump

Russians Are Buying US Farm Land As Trump Tariffs Kill Farmers

Polipace Staff

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Foreign investors, mainly Oligarchs from Russia, acquired at least 1.6 million acres of U.S. agricultural land in 2016, the largest increase in more than a decade, according to a review by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting of the latest available federal data.

The data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that foreign investors control—either through direct ownership or long-term leases—at least 28.3 million acres, valued at $52.2 billion. That area is about the size of the state of Ohio.

“Foreign integration into the United States agribusiness sector has been steadily increasing over the last few decades,” agricultural law experts Marisa Bocci, Kari Larson and Paulina Wu wrote in a September 2018 report published in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law.

The state with the most foreign ownership and investment is Maine, which has 3.1 million acres that are foreign-controlled, followed closely by Texas at 3 million acres.

Estimates of foreign ownership of agriculture land may be underreported as data can be inconsistent and the latest release is more than two years old. Still, it gives a strong indication of amount of foreign ownership and lease information.

Already, six states have laws banning foreign ownership of farmland. Those states are Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota and Oklahoma.

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Trump

Trump Defends Withdrawal from Syria Because of “A lot of Sand.”

Polipace Staff

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Yes, you read that right: President Trump is defending his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, saying, “It’s not our problem,” and that “they’ve got a lot of sand over there. There’s a lot of sand they can play with.”

He said the Kurds, longtime U.S. allies, are “much safer right now,” and added, “They’re not angels.”

Trump has been facing severe bipartisan criticism for having U.S. forces stand aside as the Turks moved into northeast Syria last week to attack the Kurds, who were allies of the United States in the campaign against Islamic State.

Trump spoke at a photo opportunity before meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday. The two are also holding a joint news conference.

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GOP

John Bolton Ordered Staff to Report Trump and Guiliani Because of Illegal Ukrainian “Drug Deal.”

Polipace Staff

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The New York Times is reporting that, responding to the Ukraine scandal, Trump aide John Bolton warned “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everyone up.”

Seems he was fired because he would have no part of President Donald Trump’s off-the-books shadow government Ukraine extortion scandal. Bolton also apparently implicated both the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and the president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvany.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton told senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs Fiona Hill to tell White House lawyers, The New York Times reports in a bombshell article late Monday night.

Bolton, who resigned from the Trump administration hours before President Trump tweeted he had fired him, instructed Hill “to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council that Mr. Giuliani was working with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on a rogue operation with legal implications,” Hill told House of Representatives investigators on Monday.

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