Trump Organization slashes asking price for Caribbean estate
A The Trump Palace in St. Maarten has again reduced its asking price, from $16.9 million to $15.5 million. Once listed at $28 million, the Trump Organization has been trying to sell the property since at least 2017. That’s when the price dropped to $16.9 million. After years of inactivity, the price has fallen back to $15.5 million. The exact date of the recent reduction remains uncertain, but it appears to have taken place in late 2021 or early this year.
There has been limited interest in the property over the years. A Chinese billionaire took a peek with his broker in 2018, according to broker Mario Molinari. When they stopped in the field, a manager was there. “You can’t see it today because you have to be pre-screened,” the manager told the broker and billionaire, whose name Molinari declined to disclose. The billionaire spoke from the passenger seat, asking if this was Trump’s house, even though he had already figured out it was. When the director replied in the affirmative, the billionaire snorted, “It’s too small for me.”
Another estate agent on the island, who asked not to be named, said he showed the property to a European investor about six months ago. Jonathan Schaede, a third broker, said one of his French clients had a friend who looked at the house but nothing came of it. “I think the price could have had a lot to do with it,” Schaede said.
The property is nice, with two villas, a 100 meter golf hole, tennis court, gym and swimming pool. Local brokers, however, think it’s worth closer to $11 million, or $4.5 million less than the Trump Organization is asking, even after the two price cuts. The place includes some features that may be more appealing to Trump than other potential owners, such as an abundance of gold-accented details and an eight-foot perimeter wall.
The Trump Organization has leased the property while it is on the market. According to financial disclosure reports Trump filed as president, which list income in wide ranges, he received $100,000 to $1.2 million in rent through St. Martin real estate from January 2017. to January 2021. Sent a list of questions about the property, Lesley Reed, the listing agent, deferred to the Trump Organization, which did not respond to requests for comment.
Arun Jagtiani, a fourth broker on the island, said he wouldn’t be surprised if Trump, who bought the property in 2013, strikes a deal in the coming months. “For them, there must be a bit of embarrassment that it’s been on the market for so long,” Jagtiani said. “St. Martin doesn’t sell a lot of $10 million properties, but [Trump] sold many properties above that price, or his organization did, so one would think that within their network they could have found a buyer.