PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Financier Donald Trump is planning to continue his current buying spree and hopes to buy more than $10 million worth of commercial and residential properties, his south Florida realtor said.
Trump closed a $1.6 million dollar deal Thursday to purchase a home adjacent to his Mar-a-Lago estate. His New York real estate company, Tipperary Realty, is under contract to buy the house next door for $700, 000.
Robert Weiner, owner of Barclay International Realty and Trump's local realtor, told The Miami Herald Trump is negotiating to buy more than $10 million worth of commercial and residential properties elsewhere in Palm Beach.
'It's big,' Weiner said, but he wouldn't elaborate.
Weiner said Trump's plans for the purchases of the two homes near his estate are to 'dress them up to the nines and lease them out annually.'
Weiner said Trump has hired an expensive design firm to remodel the two homes and landscape them so passersby will not be able to distingish them from his estate, which was built by the late cereal heiress Marjorie Merriwether Post.
Trump has plans to convert Mar-a-Lago into a private social club, but those plans were stalled in September by the bank which holds the $12 million mortgage. It refused to sign an agreement between Trump and the city.
Trump said he would buy the mortgage from the bank, but has not done it yet.
Weiner said Trump is paying cash for the two homes next door.
Jeffrey Paine, a West Palm Beach attorney, said the house purchased Thursday was the result of a complicated transaction. He said it had been owned by L&V Investments of France, who sold their shares in it and another home to South African investor Leslie Greyling, who in turn sold it to Trump. The home had been listed at $3.5 million.
'I don't know whether he intends to make up some money in another deal or what,' Paine said. 'All I can say is that we (L&V) sold our shares (to Greyling) for substantially more than $1.6 million.
The other home now owned by Trump interests was bought for $700,000, but had been listed at $849,000. The owner was Louis and Mary Wagner, who said they did not know Trump was the buyer.
'We wondered about that, because we couldn't find out who was buying it,' Mary Wagner said. 'It's a shame. If we had known, maybe we could have gotten a better price.'