PHOTO: Washington, D.C.'s Old Post Office building was converted into the Trump International Hotel. (photo via Flickr/Ken Lund)
Despite ongoing controversy surrounding potential conflicts of interest—his luxury hotel is located just a few blocks from the White House—President Donald Trump's brand is reportedly seeking a partner for a second Washington, D.C. property.
According to multiple sources who spoke to the Washington Post, the Trump Organization has been eyeing several medium-sized properties throughout the nation's capital with the intention of converting one into a Scion hotel.
Announced last year, the new lifestyle brand aims to pay tribute to the Trump family—Scion means descendant of a notable family—while also setting itself apart from the company's iconic luxury brand.
Earlier this year, Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger confirmed that Scion has signed more than a dozen letters of intent with developers in locations across the U.S., including Cincinnati, Dallas, Nashville and New York.
D.C. appears poised to join that list.
"They’re trying hard to do Scion in this market, and they’re trying hard in other markets also," local developer and D.C.-based Foxhall Partners' managing director Brian Friedman told the Post.
Friedman said Trump representatives recently toured two of his properties—the Carlyle Hotel in Dupont Circle and the Kimpton Glover Park—and have asked about another hotel his group is developing in Northwest D.C. An unnamed real estate executive also told the Post that Danziger toured the Beacon Hotel in Dupont Circle, which is located just a mile from the White House, but a deal never came to fruition.
"I think he liked it," the executive said. "He said it was perfect. It just didn’t work out."
It's unclear whether a Scion hotel will open in D.C. However, it's almost a guarantee it will become a source of controversy if it does.
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While a Scion property wouldn't bear Trump's name, the association with the president could spur additional complaints from Congressional Democrats regarding potential conflicts of interest, as well as backlash from nearby businesses.
Lawsuits against Trump, like the one filed by D.C.'s Cork wine bar, argue Trump's hotel has an unfair advantage given its ties to the president. These could become even more commonplace if the Trump Organization expands its brand so close to the White House.
"He’s going to piss people off," luxury hotel owner Laurence Geller told the Wall Street Journal back in January. "Why would a developer want that as part of his brand? Why would you take the risk?"