(Bloomberg)—Donald Trump is planning a significant expansion of his Trump National Doral Miami resort, which is located in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.
The former president said in a statement that he plans to apply to build 2,300 luxury homes as well as retail and commercial space in the first phase of construction at Trump National Doral. He said he “just spent millions of dollars” on the resort’s Blue Monster golf course.
Doral, which Trump bought out of bankruptcy in 2012, includes four golf courses and a luxury hotel. For years, it was one of the biggest revenue generators of the Trump Organization, but the COVID-19 pandemic initially led to shutdowns and furloughs.
Millions are coming into the resort with loans that Trump himself has guaranteed, but Florida has remained largely open during the pandemic. The luxury market in South Florida has grown as finance and tech workers migrate from higher-tax states.
Until recently, Trump had been relatively quiet on the business front since leaving office, devoting his time to Republican politics instead. Wall Street and large sections of Corporate America also sought to distance themselves from doing business with him after last year’s riots at the Capitol, and he was removed from social media.
In recent months, however, the Trump Organization has struck a deal to sell the rights to its Washington hotel in a transaction that could bring in more than $370 million.
More importantly, he has created a media company that is merging with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a blanc-check company. The firms raised $1 billion in PIPE funding in December from a group of unnamed investors and intends to challenge “Big Tech.”
Trump’s net worth, estimated at $2.6 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, could increase significantly when the deal is completed.
A representative for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside business hours.
Doral was consistently earning more than $70 million when Trump was in office and before the pandemic-hit trip, according to his financial disclosures as president. This dropped to less than $50 million in 2020.
According to news reports, this decline was not strictly related to the impact of Covid. During the presidency, a tax adviser for the Trump Organization advocated to a Miami-Dade County official that Doral’s tax bill be reduced because it was “severely vulnerable” to other area resorts, according to a 2019 Washington Post story . The consultant, Jessica Vachiratevnurak, cited “some negative connotations that are associated with the brand,” the Post reported.
Eric Trump, the former president’s son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, disputed that characterization.
“Doral is probably the most valuable asset in South Florida,” Eric Trump told Bloomberg in 2021. “It’s 700 acres in Miami and it’s priceless.”
—With assistance from Cecil Vanucci.
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