A company controlled by the family of the US president Donald Trump has sold a 5,400 square foot Beverly Hills mansion to a corporate entity linked to the scandal-plagued politician’s Indonesian billionaire business partner for $13.5 million, according to accounts in the US media.
Los Angeles County records show that the Trump Organization, now headed by the president’s eldest son Donald J. Trump. Jr, sold the five-bedroom home at 809 North Canon Drive to an entity named Hillcrest Asia Limited for $13.5 million in an off market deal priced at nearly double the $7 million which Trump paid for the property in 2007.
The price for the property at the top of Sunset Boulevard was also more than twice the $6 million that Trump’s tax attorney had told the LA government the home was worth in 2016, with local real estate agents in Beverly Hills reportedly expressing surprise over the high price.
Trump Partner Quietly Buys US Property
Hillcrest Asia, a unit of Hong Kong-listed Allied Properties Limited, can ultimately be traced back to Indonesian-Chinese media mogul Hary Tanoesoedibjo of Media Nusantara Citra (MNC). Known locally as Hary Tanoe, the billionaire was listed as the 31st wealthiest person in Indonesia in 2018, according to Forbes, which estimates his current net worth at $1.1 billion.
The 52-year-old Indonesian tycoon, who made a failed attempt in 2014 to run for Indonesia’s vice-president, is currently developing two projects under the Trump brand – a 100-hectare, six-star luxury resort on the coast of Bali and a 300-villa resort outside Jakarta with a championship golf course designed by former world No 1 Ernie Els.
Tanoe promised to spend as much as $1 billion on the two resorts and paid Trump as much as $10.5 million in fees between 2015 and 2017. It was one of the Trump Organization’s most lucrative overseas partnerships, according to an earlier Bloomberg report.
The home Tanoe bought from Trump’s company is a 1927-vintage five bedroom, six bathroom Tudor-style mansion complete with a backyard swimming pool. The home is located across the street from the famed Beverly Hills Hotel where Trump is reported to have engaged in affairs with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal and porn star Stephanie Gregory Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels.
Time to Sell Out of Beverly Hills
In a statement to the media, the president’s son Eric Trump – who is also an executive vice president at the Trump Organization – called it “a beautiful home that our family enjoyed for many years.” But, he added, “given my father’s presidency and our hectic schedules, our family has not had the chance to enjoy the property in recent years and it has seen minimal use. As such, it simply made sense to sell.”
According to LA County land records the property was assessed last year at $8.3 million with property taxes set at $96,000 per year.
The $13.5 million price which Tanoe paid the Trump Organization for the mansion has already raised some ethics concerns and raised eyebrows among brokers and markets analysts in Los Angeles.
The median home value in Beverly Hills has gone up from $2.3 million in early 2007 to $3.5 million this year, a 52 percent increase, according to analysis of the listing portal Zillow.
Tanoe’s Teflon Not as Effective as Trump’s
Tanoe, the founder and former CEO of MNC, which owns four national TV stations, stepped down from running his own company in 2016 to focus on politics. Regarding Trump as an inspiration, Tanoe, an ethnic-Chinese Christian, too began talking about running for president of Indonesia after attending the US president’s inauguration in January 2017.
In another series of events which parallel the experience of his US-based partner, last year, while he was exploring a presidential run, Tanoe was engulfed by a series of scandals, including alleged tax fraud at a company he once owned and accusations he’d sent threatening text messages to a prosecutor.
While Tanoe denied the allegations, the charges proved sufficient to see the tycoon barred from traveling for a few months.