Trump Leads Tour of Washington Hotel Site as He Eyes White House

  • Old Post Office building undergoing $200 million renovation
  • It will be `one of the great hotels in the world,' Trump says

Donald Trump offered a first look at the historic Old Post Office building that he’s redeveloping into Washington’s newest luxury hotel, just a short walk from the White House, which he hopes to call home starting in January.

In one week, the concrete floor underfoot will be covered in marble from around the world, Trump said Monday as he spoke to reporters from the hotel lobby while workers in hard hats ambled around. Eventually the space farther behind him, a maze of steel beams and dangling construction lights, will be filled in with shops and restaurants. Following a $200 million renovation, the Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C., is scheduled to open in September.

The project is benefiting from the extra publicity accompanying Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination. The Trump Organization broke ground on the hotel in July after securing a 60-year lease on the building with the U.S. General Services Administration. His company has been redeveloping the property, which will have more than 250 guest rooms, a ballroom and meeting space. Trump has said the Old Post Office will be the largest of Washington’s luxury hotels.

“We want to make this one of the great hotels in the world,” Trump told reporters, who peppered the leading Republican candidates with questions about the race. “You will be proud of it, as people who love this country.”

Steel Skeleton

Dozens of journalists navigated through a steel skeleton that eventually will be the hotel’s grand ballroom. Camera crews climbed stacks of drywall, high off the ground, to get a better shot of the candidate.

Some of Trump’s remarks during his campaign have created difficulties for the project. In July, restaurateur Jose Andres canceled plans to open a Spanish restaurant in the building because of Trump’s comments about limiting immigration. Geoffrey Zakarian, another celebrity chef who planned a location at the hotel, also pulled out. Trump is suing both of them.

Still, Trump’s presidential run helps because “the secret of successful opening is awareness,” said Mickael Damelincourt, the hotel’s managing director.

Most of the room reservations at the hotel so far have been made by corporate clients, said Damelincourt, who previously worked for Trump properties in Toronto and Chicago.

Trump Townhouse

While prices will vary depending on availability, room size and season, nightly rates will range from about $545 for the lowest-priced room to $25,000 for the Trump townhouse, a 6,300-square-foot (585-square-meter) suite.

“We are at the five-star level,” Damelincourt said, adding that when people leave the property, there should be one unique thing they remember about their experience. “Hopefully it’s not going to be how much you spent.”