Donald Trump appeared in court over classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago - how much is the estate worth?
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After the FBI seized reportedly nearly 200,000 pages of classified documents from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in 2022, his Palm Beach Estate has consistently been in the headlines. According to Forbes in August 2022, “Donald Trump has made a lot of investments over his career. One of the flashiest, his purchase of Mar-a-Lago, also turned out to be one of the best. Trump paid an estimated $10 million for it in 1985 and turned it into a money making club, before a rising real estate market made it one of the most valuable homes in the world. Today, the crown jewel of Palm Beach is worth an estimated $350 million.”
Even before Donald Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago in 1985, it already had quite the history. Donald, who reportedly liked to call the estate his ‘Winter White House,’ obviously did so because cereal heiress Majorie Merriweather Post donated the mansion to the US government in 1973 specifically for them to use it as the ‘Winter White House.’
According to Town & Country, “Post, who had inherited the Postum Cereal Company from her father and who then went on to become America’s richest woman, finished building Mar-a-Lago in 1927, at a cost of $7 million (that equals to about $120 million today).”
Although Marjorie Merriweather Post gave the estate to the American government upon her death to be used as a warmer weather refuge for the president, in 1981, they returned it to the Post Foundation because it reportedly cost $1 million a year in maintenance costs.
When Donald Trump purchased the Mar-a-Lago estate in 1985, he turned it into a private club and created a Louis XIV-style ballroom that reportedly has $7 million in gold leaf on the walls. His daughter Tiffany Trump wed Michael Boulos there last November and the wedding was planned by Lebanese wedding and event planner Toni Breiss. Tiffany also wore a wedding dress by Lebanese designer Elie Saab, which was thought to be a nod to Michael’s Lebanese heritage
As father of the bride, Donald Trump walked Tiffany down the aisle, and Tiffany and Michael were also joined by family members Donald’s wife Melania, Tiffany’s half sister, Ivanka Trump, her mother Marla Maples, and her half brothers, Donald Jr, Eric Trump and Barron Trump (the son of Donald and Melania).
Over the years, Mar-a-Lago has presented national security risks even before the FBI search. The Palm Beach Post reported that “In March 2019, a Chinese national named Yujing Zhang was accused of trespassing after trying to get into a Mar-a-Lago event. The article went on to say that “Zhang insisted she was innocent and represented herself in a trial in which she was found guilty of two counts related to lying to a federal agent and gaining access to a restricted building. She received an eight-month sentence and faced deportation.”