Donald Trump: Poorer president

Donald Trump's net worth has dropped some $600 million since last year. Here's what has changed

Published: Dec 6, 2017

g_101475_donald_trump_280x210.jpgImage: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Atough New York real estate market, a costly lawsuit and an expensive presidential campaign all contributed to the declining fortune of the 45th president. After months of digging through financial disclosures and public property records and conducting dozens of interviews, Forbes now estimates Potus’s net worth at $3.1 billion, down from $3.7 billion a year ago, putting him in 248th place on our annual ranking of the richest Americans.

The biggest hit was to Trump’s real estate portfolio, which is weighted heavily toward New York City. ­Values of several Manhattan properties, particularly those on or near Fifth Avenue, have dropped, shaving nearly $400 million off his fortune. Some of his golf properties, including ones in Miami, Ireland and Scotland, have also declined in value, as some would-be guests stayed away, apparently offended by the president’s politics and bombast. Trump’s cash pile is down $100 million since last year, after he spent $66 million on his campaign and $25 million settling a lawsuit over Trump University.

A handful of Trump’s assets rose in value in the past year, including the hotel-condo tower in Las Vegas that he owns with fellow Forbes 400 member Phil Ruffin (No 315) and his minority stake in a downtown San Francisco office building, which continues to benefit from the red-hot real estate market there. Changes in values are measured against last year’s Forbes 400, which was published a month before the election.

Niketown (New York City)
What he owns: Ground lease on retail through 2079
Total value: $253 million
Debt: $0
Net value: $253 million
Change vs 2016: –$137 million
Long the sole tenant at 6 East 57th Street in New York City, Nike signed a 15-year, $700 million lease in late 2016 for a nearby space, stoking rumours that it will vacate this Trump property. Nike is staying put for now. “We are in a multi-year-lease agreement for our Niketown New York location that does not end for several years,” a Nike spokesman said. (The company would not confirm when the lease ends.) The bigger issue is the weaker real estate values, particularly for Manhattan storefronts in this tony neighbourhood, which is also home to nearby Trump Tower.

Trump hotel management and licensing business
What he owns:
100% of the business
Total value: $190 million
Debt: $0
Net value: $190 million
Change vs 2016: +$67 million
Donald Trump’s international ­hotel-licensing business, which includes six partnerships in far-flung ­locales like Uruguay, Indonesia and Panama, is benefiting from rising hotel values around the world. The Trump Organization is now hunting for new deals in the US. Despite Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger’s public claim in June that there were dozens of deals in the works, Forbes and ProPublica could find no evidence outside of one partnership in Mississippi, and instead found false starts and fizzled-out partnerships.

g_101451_mara_logo_palm_beach_280x210.jpg
Image: Bill Gozansky / Alamy

Mar-a-Lago (Palm Beach, Florida)
What he owns:
100% of private club
Total Value: $160 million
Debt: $0
Net value: $160 million
Change vs 2016: +$10 million
Trump’s exclusive Palm Beach club got a little more exclusive after he was elected president, reportedly raising initiation fees from $100,000 to $200,000. That’s not slowing down business, as revenues are up by roughly 25% in the last year. But that trend may not continue. Dozens of charities have reportedly cancelled events at the club following Trump’s controversial remarks after a racially charged protest in Charlottesville that left one person dead.


g_101453_trump_intl_hotel_las_vegas_280x210.jpgImage: James Pintar / Shutterstock

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas
What he owns:
50% of hotel and condos
Total value: $177 million
Debt: $18 million (estd)
Net value: $79 million
Change vs 2016: +$10 million
Along with his billionaire partner Phil Ruffin, Trump has sold more than 25 units inside the golden tower since the election, making this his most active real estate property. The partners’ remaining 365 condos are worth more now than their total collection at the inauguration, thanks to climbing prices of Sin City real estate. Buyers are paying about 5% more for condos owned by Trump than comparable units offered by other sellers.

g_101455_trump_international_washington_280x210.jpg
Image: Andriy Blokhin / Alamy

Trump International Hotel Washington, DC
What he owns:
77% stake in ground lease through 2075
Total value: $238 million
Debt: $170 million (estd)
Net value: $52 million
Change vs 2016: –$52 million

To Trump fans, it’s a reminder of the president’s business acumen. To his detractors, it’s the centre of the swamp. Either way, the hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, which opened in October 2016, made $2 million in profit in its first four months this year, far exceeding the Trump Organization’s expectations. That helped push up its overall value. But the net value of Trump’s stake has decreased since last year because he apparently drew down the remaining $45 million portion of a $170 million credit line used for hotel construction. Forbes also excluded from our estimates the roughly 23% stake that his children Ivanka, Don Jr and Eric own.
 

 

g_101451_mara_logo_palm_beach_280x210.jpg
Mar-a-Lago (Palm Beach, Florida)
What he owns:
100% of private club
Total Value: $160 million
Debt: $0
Net value: $160 million
Change vs 2016: +$10 million
Trump’s exclusive Palm Beach club got a little more exclusive after he was elected president, reportedly raising initiation fees from $100,000 to $200,000. That’s not slowing down business, as revenues are up by roughly 25% in the last year. But that trend may not continue. Dozens of charities have reportedly cancelled events at the club following Trump’s controversial remarks after a racially charged protest in Charlottesville that left one person dead.


g_101453_trump_intl_hotel_las_vegas_280x210.jpgImage: James Pintar / Shutterstock

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas
What he owns:
50% of hotel and condos
Total value: $177 million
Debt: $18 million (estd)
Net value: $79 million
Change vs 2016: +$10 million
Along with his billionaire partner Phil Ruffin, Trump has sold more than 25 units inside the golden tower since the election, making this his most active real estate property. The partners’ remaining 365 condos are worth more now than their total collection at the inauguration, thanks to climbing prices of Sin City real estate. Buyers are paying about 5% more for condos owned by Trump than comparable units offered by other sellers.

g_101455_trump_international_washington_280x210.jpg
Image: Andriy Blokhin / Alamy

Trump International Hotel Washington, DC
What he owns:
77% stake in ground lease through 2075
Total value: $238 million
Debt: $170 million (estd)
Net value: $52 million
Change vs 2016: –$52 million

To Trump fans, it’s a reminder of the president’s business acumen. To his detractors, it’s the centre of the swamp. Either way, the hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, which opened in October 2016, made $2 million in profit in its first four months this year, far exceeding the Trump Organization’s expectations. That helped push up its overall value. But the net value of Trump’s stake has decreased since last year because he apparently drew down the remaining $45 million portion of a $170 million credit line used for hotel construction. Forbes also excluded from our estimates the roughly 23% stake that his children Ivanka, Don Jr and Eric own.

g_101459_spring_creek_towers_280x210.jpg
Image: Melanie Stetson Freeman /The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

Spring Creek Towers (Brooklyn, New York)
What he owns:
Roughly 4% of affordable-housing complex
Total value: $850 million
Debt: $387 million
Net value: $18 million
Change vs 2016: –$7 million

After months of criticism from congressional Democrats who complained that Trump’s longtime stake in a federally supported project created a conflict of interest, Trump is cashing out of America’s largest federally subsidised housing complex. Trump and his partners agreed to sell the whole complex for $850 million in September and are now awaiting approval from the US Department of Housing & Urban Development. The sale price is below what analysts expected. Trump’s take: An estimated $18 million for his roughly 4%.

Island home (St Martin, West Indies)
What he owns:
Beachfront estate
Total value: $15 million
Debt: $0
Net value: $15 million
Change vs 2016: N/A (newly included asset)
Trump purchased the property in 2013 from an Indiana businessman with whom he was friends; the price was never disclosed. He listed it for sale in May for $28 million, only to slash the price to $17 million a few months later. Local real estate brokers say interest spiked in the vacation rental once Trump was elected. But by the end of this summer, many potential buyers were turned off by the public scrutiny that would surely accompany a sale, the brokers said. The devastation caused to the island by Hurricane Irma probably won’t help matters.

OTHER ASSETS
40 Wall Street (New York City)
What he owns:
Ground lease through 2194
Total value: $545 million
Debt: $152 million
Net value: $393 million
Change since 2016: +$48 million

g_101461_trump_tower_280x210.jpg


(This story appears in the 08 December, 2017 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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