PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump has paid off the $1.2 million mortgage he took out in 1994 for a mansion adjacent to his “Winter White House” Mar-a-Lago, according to a “Satisfaction of Mortgage” instrument recorded in the Palm Beach land records.
The final payment to lender Merrill Lynch came two years ahead of schedule, suggesting good fortunes for the commander-in-chief’s real estate empire. The reality, however, is a good deal bleaker than implied.
Trump owes his two largest mortgage creditors, Deutsche Bank and Ladder Capital, $350 million and $300 million respectively, making his recent $1.2 million payoff a drop in the bucket.
Trump’s fortunes have famously waxed and waned and—as his many critics are fond of noting—he has filed for bankruptcy a number of times.
His secret Palm Beach manor, located at 1094 South Ocean Boulevard, is commonly vacant, with the windows covered and the mailbox sealed. A 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom house, it typically plays host to family and Florida guests of Trump when it’s used at all.
Presidential son and recent star of the family’s Russia scandal Donald Trump Jr. was one of the latest occupants, staying in the home with his family earlier this year.
“Security was pretty tight there,” a neighbor commented on Donald Jr.’s visit, “but we saw the president’s grandkids playing all over the street. They’re pleasant to have around.”
The property—purchased originally at $1.6 million and presently appraised at $11.3 million—is technically no longer under Trump’s umbrella. In attempting to ease his footprint in his family’s business to avoid conflicts of interest as president, Trump transferred the house to an LLC (called DT Venture 1 LLC) in January. Donald Jr. controls the company.
One link the mansion still retains to its former owner: Both are often described as being a light shade of orange in color!