President Trump’s company has quietly sold one of his last remaining properties in California — a 5,400-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion that county records show was purchased by a corporate entity linked to an Indonesian billionaire and Trump business partner.
A deed registered with L.A. County on May 31 shows that Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., signed the property over to Hillcrest Asia Ltd., a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. The price tag: $13.5 million, nearly double what Trump paid for the house when he bought it in 2007.
The purchaser address listed on the deed is a Beverly Hills condominium owned by a firm belonging to Hary Tanoesoedibjo, a billionaire media executive who ran for vice president of Indonesia in 2014.
He is Trump’s business partner on two projects in Indonesia — a resort on the island of Bali and a golf course and resort in the forests of West Java, south of the capital city of Jakarta. Tanoesoedibjo has said he expects that the projects will be worth more than $500 million when completed.
A woman reached by phone at the condominium, who declined to give her name, said she knew the family and had heard of the purchase but was not prepared to make a statement. Calls to other phones for the Tanoesoedibjo family were not returned.
The Trump Organization did not respond to questions about the property, but Eric Trump, who is managing the company with Donald Trump Jr. while their father is in the White House, told the Real Deal Los Angeles website that “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.” News of the sale was first reported by the Real Deal site.
Trump bought the property, at 809 North Canon Drive, for $7 million in 2007, according to L.A. County land records. The county assessed the property last year at $8.3 million.
From before he was president, Trump did not appear to use the house frequently — even when he visited Los Angeles. In those instances, he often stayed at the nearby Beverly Hills Hotel. The house did not appear to be rented out: in his financial disclosures, Trump said he never received income from it. Property taxes were $96,000 per year, L.A. County records show.
Trump briefly owned a second house on the same block, selling that property for $10.3 million in 2008, according to public records.
Trump still owns a golf club in nearby Rancho Palos Verdes, and has been selling plots of land around it for oceanfront housing.
His business dealings are drawing intense scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers and government ethics experts who say there is no effective check on people who would seek influence with the White House by spending money on Trump’s real estate.
Trump has sold other properties since entering office, including a warehouse in South Carolina, land in the Dominican Republic and condos in his Las Vegas hotel, according to his government disclosure forms and public records.
The U.S. Constitution bars the president from receiving gifts or payments from foreign leaders. Trump is fighting two federal lawsuits that claim he is running afoul of that prohibition by accepting business from foreign dignitaries at his hotels.
The $13.5 million sale price of the Beverly Hills mansion is likely to exacerbate ethics concerns. The property was sold off-market — meaning it was not listed for sale publicly — and Beverly Hills real estate experts said they were surprised at the high price.
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 from Zillow. Trump sold his home for 93 percent more than he paid for it in 2007.
Trump “got a really good price,” said Luis Pezzini, the chief executive of Pezzini Luxury Homes in West Hollywood.
“Seems a little rich, to be perfectly frank,” Pezzini said. “Unless there’s something spectacular about this [house] that I’m missing.”
Pezzini said he had a listing nearby with a larger home and lot size — as well as a tennis court — and expected to get slightly less than the $13.5 million Trump received.
Tanoesoedibjo’s main business is media, as his MNC Group in Indonesia owns television stations and broadband businesses, but he also has finance and natural resources companies.
He and the Trump family know each other well, and beginning in 2015, he signed deals to partner with Trump on the two enormous projects in West Java and Bali, where he owns land.
Tanoesoedibjo attended Trump’s inauguration, posing for photos with Eric and Lara Trump at Trump’s D.C. hotel the day after the inauguration. He has said he has considered running for president in his country, with Trump as an inspiration.
Joshua Partlow in Washington and Rob Kuznia in Los Angeles contributed to this report