The Trump organization officially informed the General Services Administration (GSA) of its intention to sell its hotel in Washington, DC, a month after reports emerged that the company had reached a deal to sell the rights to the property for hundreds of millions of dollars. .
A GSA spokesperson told The Hill that the agency “has been officially notified of the proposed transfer and is committed to a thorough review to ensure all legal and contractual requirements are met.”
The GSA’s announcement comes a month after a number of news agencies reported that the Trump Organization had reached a $ 375 million deal with CGI Merchant Group, a Miami-based investment firm, to rent the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC
CGI Merchant Group has also reportedly entered into a deal with Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. to rename the property and remove the Trump name from the property. Once the deal is done, Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria group will preside over the property.
The sale is expected to close early next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The GSA, however, is now tasked with reviewing and approving the details of the deal before it can pass. The agency needs to make sure the buyer is qualified as the transaction involves federal ownership – Trump’s hotel is located in the former post office, which is owned by the federal government.
The GSA has 45 days to review the terms of the agreement and determine if the buyer qualifies. This review period will begin once the agency has received all the information it needs to review whether the alleged buyer qualifies.
The GSA will determine whether the proposed buyer is a qualified assignee based on a number of principles, including whether the company will use the property as a luxury hotel, whether it is licensed to do business in Washington, DC, if it has a good business reputation and if it has been successful in owning and operating a high quality full service hotel.
Additionally, the GSA will determine if the proposed purchaser has sufficient capacity to oversee properties that are historically significant; whether it has sufficient financial capacity, financial standing and operating capacity; and whether it has a specific minimum access to liquidity.
The Trump organization opened the hotel, located on Pennsylvania Avenue, in 2016.
News that the company is taking further steps to sell its hotel comes as the House Oversight and Reform Committee examines potential conflicts of interest related to Trump and potential emoluments issues, according to the Journal.
The committee is also examining how the GSA handled the hotel lease. The deal was made before Trump announced he was a presidential candidate, but the committee would still be examining how Trump handled potential conflicts of interest when he was president.
Democrats claimed Trump hid a significant amount of debt during the GSA’s initial bidding process for the hotel and falsely amortized his finances by omitting loan balances he had for his estates at Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco.
They also claimed that Deutsche Bank gave Trump special treatment by allowing him to defer certain payments for the $ 170 million hotel loan.
Trump and the organization, however, argued that they had done nothing wrong.