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Trump Tower Lands $100M Refinancing Deal From Online Bank Run By GOP Donor

Trump Tower in New York City

Former President Donald Trump's family business has secured a $100M mortgage to refinance its signature Manhattan property from an online bank.

Eric Trump, acting as president of Trump Tower Commercial LLC, signed the mortgage document for 725 Fifth Ave., otherwise known as Trump Tower, with San Diego-based Axos Bank on Feb. 15, New York City property records show.

The loan from Axos to The Trump Organization was signed the day after the real estate firm's long-serving accounting firm, Mazars, dropped it as a client and sent a letter, filed in court by New York Attorney General Letitia James, saying that financial records it prepared for the company between 2011 and 2020 could no longer be relied upon.

Axos is run by CEO Greg Garrabrants, who has donated $50K to Republican campaigns since 2012, including $9,600 to Trump, federal election records show. The bank lent The Trump Organization the money despite a $100M loan for the skyscraper being placed on a Wells Fargo debt watchlist in September, Bloomberg reported.

The skyscraper has been struggling with occupancy for some time, slipping from 85% in late 2020 to 78.9% last year, Bloomberg reported in September. Approximately $590M of the debt held by The Trump Organization was due to mature over the next few years, Bloomberg reported in September, including Trump Tower’s $100M mortgage, which was due to mature this September.

Eric Trump and brother Donald Trump Jr. have been running The Trump Organization since 2017 when their father was inaugurated as president.  

One of the skyscraper’s other largest tenants, footwear brand March Fisher, whose showroom took up 10% of Trump Tower’s leasable space, vacated the property before the end of its lease after being unable to pay rent, according to Bloomberg. Several other tenants, including suit-maker Marcroft and a business school once owned by Kris Jenner, also fell behind on rent by tens of thousands of dollars in 2020 and vacated their spaces, the Washington Post reported last year.

Trump Tower skirted around dwindling occupancy rates in 2020 by leasing newly available space to itself, with the Make America Great Again PAC paying to rent 15th-floor office space in March 2021, according to the Post.

The skyscraper’s previous mortgage was provided by Ladder Capital and is part of the criminal probe into Donald Trump’s financial dealings, The Real Deal reported. The criminal probe may now be on shakier ground after two prosecutors resigned last month, but The Trump Organization is also facing an ongoing civil probe, including key executives receiving pressure to testify from James.