CHICAGO - Ivanka Trump and the entire family were trying desperately to market multi-million dollar condos in Chicago’s Trump Tower a dozen years ago.
Lenders were threatening to foreclose on the building. However, The New York Times reports they ended up forgiving a quarter-billion dollars that Donald Trump owed them.
In the latest New York Times story based on what it claims are copies of President Trump's income tax returns, they report his lenders forgave at least $287 million in borrowings he never had to repay. Nearly all of that -- $270 million -- was linked to Trump Tower on the north bank of the Chicago River.
The IRS would normally treat that huge windfall -- granted to Trump in 2010 -- as income for tax purposes. But the Times says Trump apparently paid little or no taxes on any of it, perhaps because of gigantic losses in other parts of his business.
The president responded via Twitter:"I was able to make an appropriately great deal with the numerous lenders on a large and very beautiful tower. Doesn’t that make me a smart guy rather than a bad guy?"
Among the lenders who forgave Trump's loans was Dune Capital, a hedge fund directed by Steven Mnuchin, whom the president appointed Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Another was Cerberus Capital Management, whose CEO, Stephen Feinberg, was appointed by the president to lead the Intelligence Advisory Board.
Since the popular Riverwalk opened, most buildings overlooking it have boomed, at least until the coronavirus. Trump Tower, though, has never leased its retail space and its condo apartments reportedly lag behind the price of similar units nearby, belying Ivanka Trump's promise a dozen years ago.
“In these homes, fine apartments, great design and truly remarkable interiors combine as a very special benefit of what has become the Trump brand,” she had said.
Despite the Trump brand, or perhaps because of it, the building's empty retail had set a downtown record before the coronavirus hit. Brokers say no similar space larger than 5,000 square feet has ever gone unrented for more than ten years.