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.
BREAKING: Jupiter Sex Trafficking Madame Attended White House Meetings On Behalf of Trump
New photos taken from notorious Jupiter Madame, Li “Cindy” Yang is a businesswoman and entrepreneur originally from China. One of those spas was the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, where Patriots owner Robert Kraft got a hand job from a sex slave.
Yang claims she sold the spa years ago, and she has not been charged in connection with Kraft’s arrest yet, but questions about her chain of sex spas has raised a lot of questions — especially when photos were found of her attending confidential White House meetings on Behalf of President Trump.
Additionally experts have noted that often the illegal spas “trade hands” in order to keep tax authorities off guard and hide assets.
Of course, this raises some significant questions about their relationship, and how someone who is connected with sex-trafficking of illegal immigrants, had such access on behalf of the President of the United States.
Meet Donald Trump’s Sex Trafficker
The Miami Herald has published a story this morning with the headline Trump cheered Kraft’s team to Super Bowl victory with founder of spa where he was busted, and there’s certainly a lot to unpack.
It seems that she had unprecedented access to the President up to her arrest, and a personal relationship with Trump.
It features a picture of the president with Li Yang at his Super Bowl LIII Mar-a-Lago watch party. Yang, who emigrated from China, started a chain of day spas in South Florida which, according to the article, have been known to be brothels for some time.
One of those was Orchids of Asia Day Spa, where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly visited, leading to an arrest for solicitation of prostitution.
Since the 2016 election cycle began, Yang has been a fixture at Republican political events, contributing around $58,000 to Trump-related committees. She was invited to the White House for an Asian-American and Pacific Islander Initiative event last year, the Herald reports.
According to insiders, people questioned why a known pimp was invited to the White House, but Trump overrode any security concerns by the Secret Service.
Trump and Kraft have a longstanding friendship. The president addressed last month’s scandal.
“Well, it’s very sad,” he said. “I was very surprised to see it. He’s proclaimed his innocence totally, but I’m very surprised to see it.”
Meet Trump’s Pro-Dwarf Tossing Judge
Donald Trump has nominated Neomi Rao to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the Court of Appeals in the DC Circuit. The announcement prompted a notable spike in online talk about dwarf-tossing—that’s right, the practice of throwing little people like a shot-put.
Dwarf-tossing has been banned in some US states and parts of France for offending human dignity, and a Nov. 16 post on Mother Jones by Stephanie Mencimer called Rao a “staunch defender” of this pastime: “Rao considers these laws an affront to individual liberty that fails to recognize the right of the dwarf to be tossed,” Mencimer writes.
Rao, currently administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote about the controversial “sport” repeatedly while she was a professor at George Mason University law school. Her writings offer “a pretty good indication of where [Rao] will come down as a judge, not just on dwarf-tossing bans, but on some of the nation’s most contentious issues,” including same-sex marriage, says Mencimer. By reading Rao on dwarf-tossing, we can predict that she will be preoccupied with “all the conservative bugaboos.”
Conservative and liberal commentators seem to agree that Rao’s dwarf-tossing arguments illuminate her worldview and judicial philosophy. But not everyone agrees on whether Rao’s position is defensible or being genuinely represented by the press. For example, R Street Institute policy fellow Shoshana Weissmann in Reason on Nov. 26 noted, “If you only read about Rao’s work in Mother Jones…you might have thought that Rao simply has a niche affinity for dwarf tossing.”
In pieces reviewed by BuzzFeed News that Rao wrote between 1994 and 1996 — she graduated from Yale University in 1995 — she described race as a “hot, money-making issue,” affirmative action as the “anointed dragon of liberal excess,” welfare as being “for the indigent and lazy,” and LGBT issues as part of “trendy” political movements. On date rape, Rao wrote that if a woman “drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice.”
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