This story appears in the March 28, 2017 issue of Forbes. Subscribe
Steven Roth, Chairman of Vornado Realty Trust, attends the opening of a Century 21 department store, Wednesday, March 3, 2010, in New York. Vornado leases space to the store in the Rego Park section of the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
For many years, Trump was partners with a group of Hong Kong investors. For nearly a decade Trump feuded with his partners over the sale of a jointly owned property, a New York residential complex called Riverside South. The Chinese wanted to sell. Trump did not. Since the Chinese were the majority shareholders, the sale went ahead. The group used the proceeds to buy two magnificent office towers: 1290 Avenue of the Americas in New York City and 555 California Street in San Francisco, the second-tallest building in town. A year later they sold out their interest in the office towers.
The buyer? Vornado Realty Trust, one of New York's largest property owners, which is run by Steven Roth, a longtime friend (and competitor) of The Donald. In a sweetheart deal, Vornado ended up with a 70% stake at a price of $775 per square foot at a time when comparable buildings went for $1,200. Trump still owns the other 30%. --Samantha Sharf