Now I shall look at the Politico hit piece, "Trump and the Artifice of the Deal."
Politico reviewed Trump's first development in Manhattan, the restoration of the Commodore Hotel, which is now the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which Trump had touted at a Republican gathering just before the New York Primary. Politico gave the "inside scoop."
Nothing disclosed was something Trump had not already told us.
The neighborhood was in awful shape. The iconic Chrysler was in foreclosure, Grand Central needed major refurbishments and the Commodore’s entire stretch of street played seedy rival to the porn playground several blocks west in Times Square. The building itself was about as unattractive a business proposition as one could imagine. Occupancy hovered around 50 percent. A wink-wink “massage parlor” called Relaxation Plus occupied prime retail space on the second floor. If it weren’t for an expensive union contract that mandated the employees be paid, the hotel almost certainly would have closed. The lobby was “so dingy,” Trump later wrote, it looked like “a welfare hotel.”
Which helps explain, ironically, why Trump became interested in the first place. The place had become such a roach motel, its owners were desperate for someone to take it off their hands. “We were trying to find a way to deal with the Commodore, which was becoming derelict and was involved in a big labor dispute with hotel employees,” says Palmieri, the financier in charge of the assets of the Penn Central Railroad, which owned the hotel, and which itself was in bankruptcy. “It was a dire situation.” Palmieri says Trump “was not the most agreeable personality I had every met.” But he fit Palmieri’s job description: “someone who was young, who was very knowledgeable about New York politics — and particularly the politics governing zoning and tax abatements.”
This last piece was crucial. Banks, in the “Ford to City: Drop Dead” era, were not forthcoming with loans. Especially not to developers with zero completed projects, and no serious cash to their names. In order to get any kind of financing, Trump would need major help from the government. Lucky for him, Abe Beame’s machine, newly installed in City Hall, seemed all too happy to comply.What an expose. Trump had political connections to help him pull off a deal that would help turn around Manhattan.
And guess what? That is what he has said all along. In my book, "Trump The Press," which comes out in July, I get into that a little deeper. But the idea that Politico is exposing him is amusing to anyone who has done a little research. It's a duh moment. Trump and his book were the main source for the Politico piece.
In that speech he gave to Republicans at the Grand Hyatt, The Donald said:
“When I did the building, everybody said, ‘Don’t do it, it can’t be done, never gonna happen. My father, who was in Brooklyn and Queens … was so against me coming into Manhattan. And then this became so successful, and he said, ‘Wow.’ ”He told Republicans he needed a tax abatement because the banks would not finance him or anyone else without one.
To be sure, his father's connections to Mayor Abe Beame and future Governor Hugh Carey helped Trump in this and other ventures, but those connections only got him a meeting. Trump had to sell each project on its own merit.
When everyone else seemed to be abandoning Manhattan, Trump looked for a roach motel to turn into jewel. And he did just that. Now, nearly 40 years later, punks at Politico piss on that accomplishment.
The Grand Hyatt helped trigger other re-developments in Manhattan. Far from being a heel, the man is a hero. But bless their hearts, Politico tried: "In a city where nobody was building much of anything, granting an unprecedented tax abatement to a private developer — no commercial property in New York had ever received one — might have seemed like smart public policy."
But they missed a bigger point they could have made about Trump's cruelty and humanity -- by pointing out how Trump evicted all those millions of cockroaches who called the Commodore home.