In a normal world the name of Vornado Realty Trust entering the bidding to rebuild the new long-awaited FBI headquarters would cause no concern at all. This is a company which has years of real estate experience but as you might guess, there are also extremely strong links with Donald Trump president of the USA. There is therefore growing concern that preferential treatment could be given to Vornado Realty Trust when it comes to choosing the preferred bidder. However, Donald Trump has denied he will get involved in any way shape or form.
Prime property swap
The FBI has been looking for some time now to build more modern buildings outside of Washington. The idea is that in exchange for building the new FBI headquarters the chosen developer will receive a large Pennsylvania Avenue property which was the previous FBI headquarters. While this is not your normal real estate investment opportunity the value of the property the winning bidder will receive could be very high indeed. Obviously it will depend upon how the property is redeveloped but this is prime property.
Advisory council on infrastructure
Despite the fact that Donald Trump and his government have denied any preferential treatment or involvement in the FBI project, it is interesting to learn that the chairman of Vornado Realty Trust, Steven Roth, was appointed by Donald Trump to serve on his advisory council on infrastructure. While the FBI project has nothing to do with the infrastructure counsel we know already there will be literally billions of dollar spent on infrastructure during Donald Trump’s tenure. So, could Vornado Realty Trust be in line for a number of new infrastructure pTrump business partner in line to build the new FBI headquartersrojects as well?
If you take a step back and look at the situation from a distance it looks very different. First of all Steven Roth has a wealth of experience in the real estate sector and would obviously be an asset to the advisory council on infrastructure. It is unfortunate that he has strong business links in the past with Donald Trump and indeed he currently part owns a number of assets in which the Trump family is lead investor.
Is it so wrong to use friends with experience?
When Donald Trump entered the White House there was much talk of his real estate experience and how this would benefit the sector going forward. Is it really so wrong to appoint friends and business acquaintances who have the expertise to advise the government on specialist areas? Would his critics rather he appointed lesser qualified individuals with whom he has had no business dealings at any time?
It is obviously a difficult subject, utilising the experience of friends and business acquaintances when in office. However, sometimes the electorate just needs to put their trust in the president and give him enough room to make the right decision. In reality, if we look back over the years there will be few real estate experts with whom Donald Trump has had no contact or dealings. Is it so wrong for him to tap into this wealth of knowledge which he has at his fingertips?