Developer Fires Back At Trump Over U.S. Embassy Comment
President Donald Trump took a step back into the world of real estate when giving his reason for canceling a planned trip to London.
Trump said that he was refusing to open the new U.S. embassy in the city because it represented a bad real estate deal.
Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The decision to sell the U.S. embassy in Grosvenor Square and the neighbouring European headquarters of the U.S. Navy was made in October 2008, in the last days of the presidency of George W. Bush.
The U.S. government recently said the money recouped from the two sales more than paid for the construction of the new embassy.
In calling the area in which the new embassy has been built an “off location,” Trump dismissed London’s largest area of new development, where more than 20,000 new homes are being constructed or have planning permission. Big developments there include the redevelopment of the famous Battersea Power Station, where Apple will occupy a new 500K SF HQ.
Some observers might agree with Trump — many of the homes being built are luxury apartments and the volume of construction has led to fears of an oversupply and price falls.
South of the river Thames, in an area which is central but with poor transport links, a new Tube line is being built to connect the area.
But Ballymore, the Irish developer that sold the site of the new embassy to the U.S., and which is building a major scheme around it, clearly did not agree with Trump’s assessment and took to Twitter to respond, using a term beloved of Trump.