The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that in keeping with the agreement with the General Services Administration (GSA), the Trump Organization will have access to the Old Post Office (OPO) building beginning tomorrow, Saturday, May 31, and is expected to begin initial construction activities.
"The redevelopment of our Old Post Office building is on track, not only to tastefully transform the historic building into a unique hotel, but also to bring hundreds of jobs and millions in tax revenue to the District," said Norton. "We have worked tirelessly for well more than a decade to get GSA to put the beautiful building to good use. The beginning of construction is the tangible reward for the city we have been working for."
When Norton could not get GSA to use its existing authority to develop the historic OPO building and annex, she did it the hard way, with a bill. In 2008, Norton successfully passed her bill, the Old Post Office Building Redevelopment Act, to require the GSA to proceed with redevelopment.
The Norton bill bore fruit last June, when, following a highly charged competition, GSA reached terms with the Trump Organization on a 60-year lease to redevelop and manage the iconic structure as a luxury hotel, culminating with last September's lease signing. Norton spoke at the ceremonial lease signing along with Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump, who will be the principal developer.
Norton said the lease is a win for the federal government, the District of Columbia and the Trump Organization. The deal requires a minimum base rent and a percentage of the revenue to go to the federal government. The District will receive $100 million in tax revenue over a 10-year period, and the project will yield 700 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs.
All along, Norton was able to get strong bipartisan support for the project, especially from two chairs of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, former Representative Jim Oberstar (R-MN) and Representative John Mica (R-FL). Norton tried for almost 10 years to get GSA to use its administrative authority to redevelop the building, but the Office of Management and Budget kept stalling.