A year after Donald Trump won the right to turn the Old Post Office in downtown Washington into a luxury hotel, details on how to maintain the history of the 1890s building remain in negotiations.
The developer and his daughter Ivanka Trump spoke for almost 90 minutes to 400 people at a Washington Post forum on the state of Washington area real estate.
“As of this, moment Washington is really doing well,” Trump said. “A very hot place. People want to be here."
Including the Trumps, who are in final negotiations with the federal government to turn the historic building at 12th and Pennsylvania, with its huge atrium inside, into a 261-room luxury hotel with high-end retailers that they say -- not so modestly -- will be better than any other.
“We're committed to not just making it the greatest hotel in D.C., but we're committed to making it the greatest hotel in the country, if not the world,” Ivanka Trump said.
The sweeping views of the Capitol from the building's tower will remain open to the public and run by the U.S. Park Service. The Trumps said they'll improve the access for the public and create a museum of the tower.
The Trumps disputed suggestions they've committed too much for the property -- more than $200 million -- will have to charge room rates of $700 a night and are seeking to renegotiate the deal. The District government did turn down a Trump inquiry about getting a $3 million per year property tax break.
Federal government sources say the Trump negotiations now are focusing on key historic details.
The Trumps hope the hotel will be open in late 2015.
Follow Tom Sherwood on Twitter at @tomsherwood