By Andrew M Harris January 5, 2017 at 1:17:17 PM PST
- Plumbers, wood workers, electricians have claims against hotel
- Trump organization spent $212 million renovating capital site
Donald Trump’s new Washington hotel, located just blocks from the White House, owes electricians, wood workers and a plumbing and heating business more than $5 million for unpaid labor, according to liens filed against the property with the District of Columbia.
The 263-room hotel, located on the historic site of the city’s former main post office, opened in October following a $212 million renovation of the 1899 structure. The liens were filed in November and December, according to public records.
Trump has acknowledged not always paying all his bills, saying it’s often a negotiating tactic when work is subpar. His companies have been sued numerous times over unpaid work. Among them were landscapers at Riverside South Park in Manhattan, who sued in 2001 seeking $111,000. Contractors at Trump Park Avenue sued in 2003 seeking $206,000. And in 2010 a painter in Chicago sued a Trump entity developing a high-rise claiming to be owed more than $4 million.
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Since his Nov. 8 election, the Trump International Hotel has become a focus of scrutiny as a potential source of conflicts of interest. The site is leased from the federal government, which Trump will lead as of Jan. 20. Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have called upon the president-elect to divest his stake, citing lease terms prohibiting elected officials from being a party to a deal or receiving benefits from it.
Those claiming they’re owed money by Trump Old Post Office LLC include the Washington plumbing and heating firm, Joseph J. Magnolia Inc., which says it’s due $2.98 million. A Maryland company, AES Electrical Inc., claims it’s owed $2.075 million and A&D Construction of Virginia LLC, says the hotel hasn’t paid $79,700 for trim work including crown and base moldings.
Rebecca Woods, an attorney representing the president-elect in other hotel-related litigation, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on the liens. Trump’s communications office didn’t immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment.
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