In West Hollywood, a City Known for Its TrumpPhobia, Two Major Projects Are Owned by an Alleged Trump Backer

cim group, donald trump, west hollywood
Rendering of the Sunset La Cienega project (SunsetLaCienega.com)

The developer and owner of two major properties in West Hollywood, a city whose former mayor said she would ban Donald Trump and most of whose city council members showed up for an anti-Trump demonstration in February, is alleged to be closely tied to Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and benefitting from that relationship.

The allegation comes in a report by WNYC, a New York City public radio station, and was aired today on KPCC. WNYC reporters Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz looked into the dealings of Los Angeles-based CIM Group, reporting that “Over the years, documents show, CIM has done at least seven real estate deals that have benefited Trump and the people around him, including Kushner. Those deals included stabilizing the scandal-plagued Trump SoHo hotel, a key Manhattan holding for Trump and his children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr.”

CIM, a private equity firm, was founded by Shaul Kuba, Avi Shemesh and Richard Ressler. Kuba and Shemesh are Israelis. Its biggest project in West Hollywood is Sunset La Cienega, a nearly complete development that includes two 10-story towers with 296 hotel rooms and 15,000 square feet of retail space and two eight-story towers with 190 residential units and 55,000 square feet of retail. The project lies on either side of La Cienega with large public plazas facing Sunset.

CIM Group also is owner of The Lot, the historic movie studio property on Santa Monica Boulevard at Formosa, where it is currently adding a six-story office building.

Donald Trump

The WNYC story says “the full extent of CIM’s government ties is not known; much of its business is private, though some investments are publicly traded. In public disclosures, CIM said it received annualized rent of $37.7 million from the General Services Administration and other federal agencies.”

WNYC also reported that CIM benefits from the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which allows foreign investors in projects in America to obtain green cards and which has been promoted by Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, as she sought investments in Korea for the family business. And it says “CIM has an infrastructure investment fund which it acknowledges is sensitive to ‘regulation’ and ‘political events.’ If Trump gets an infrastructure bill passed, funds like this could earn many millions from projects like roads and tunnels.”

The West Hollywood City Council in February debated whether to support a proposal by then-Mayor Lauren Meister to re-evaluate its relationship with Wells Fargo bank because of the bank’s investment of $120 million in the controversial Dakota Pipeline and its connections with Trump. Councilmember John Duran opposed Meister’s proposal, noting that Wells Fargo has been a major donor to LGBT charities, including the LA Gay Men’s Chorus, whose board he chairs. The council finally decided to ask city staffers to develop a list of businesses that Trump has a connection with and a policy for not doing business with Trump and his affiliated businesses. It also asked that city staff members develop standards of social consciousness for city vendors and business partners and use them to evaluate WeHo’s banking relationship with Wells Fargo.

Some members of the Los Angeles City Council have taken more aggressive measures. The council voted earlier this month to support the impeachment of Trump. And in March Los Angeles City Council members Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz introduced a measure that directs the city’s Office of Finance to report back with options for divestment from all holdings with Wells Fargo. The City of Los Angeles currently holds over $40 million in securities with Wells Fargo that have a one to four year maturity.  Trump’s support for Wells Fargo, which has immersed itself in a crisis after pressing employees to create fake bank accounts for customers, is evident in his administration’s decision to take down a government website where Wells Fargo employees could file their complaints.

According to David Wilson, West Hollywood’s director of finance, the city uses Wells Fargo for routine banking services such as deposits from revenue received, payments to vendors for goods and services and payments to employees for payroll. Wells Fargo is the primary provider for the city’s day-to-day cash and credit transactions. The city also uses a lockbox with US Bank for some of its rent stabilization transactions. The City of West Hollywood does not use Wells Fargo for any investment services. “Typically, the city will maintain approximately $3 million in the Wells Fargo accounts to cover checks issued to vendors,” Wilson said in an email to WEHOville.


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Joshua88
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Joshua88

This is a useful project for interested people. It could happen here: https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/trump-hotels

fine7760
Guest

Observer, Buffet contributes millions to the Democratic Party (bribe). In return Obama stopped the pipe line and Buffet profits transporting the oil. It’s not that difficult to understand. I susggest you read the article concerning Soros and his aim to to go after President Trump in order to increase his personal investments.

WEHO boy
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WEHO boy

The city should concern itself with the financial end of projects,to get the best deals it can for the taxpayer. Religious and race and gender and lifestyle considerations would be illegal, as should political. The city doesn’t think all of it’s residents are anti Trump does it? Or perhaps it doesn’t care.

Rose
Guest
Rose

I am anti=trump, but He is our elected president, and continues to act with powers not given, and many prohibited by the Constitution. Is weho kinda doing the same thing, using a city with limited powers, to discriminate on business due to politics. Is that not kinda the same a what Trump is doing, charging ahead, so what if people say he can’t or the Constitution Prohibits it. HOWEVER 1. I object as a resident to one of the more hideous and ugly picture of this project 2. The way THE PEOPLE (not the government) deals with a business owned… Read more »

Observer
Guest
Observer

@fine7760: So please tell us why Obama stopped the pipeline. Do you actually KNOW why Soros is “going after President Trump”?

Observer
Guest
Observer

@ Randy: Resist distraction! Pay attention. Make wise, well researched choices.
and don’t parrot the last voice of the media or a friend. Stand for something of defensible value.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Welcome to Capitalist America. It is virtually impossible to avoid spending money that does not work its way up to someone you hate, or who goes against your political beliefs. Not with all of the ties people have to business interests, and the conglomeration of everything. This story reminds me of my grandmother trying to boycott Japanese cars in the 80’s by purchasing a Chevrolet (I think), and then being disappointed in learning that her engine was built in Japan. What can one do? Nothing. Not without exhaustive research. And even then, how much difference is a boycott really going… Read more »

Observer
Guest
Observer

Trump: 3,500 lawsuits
Trump: $25,000 settlement to end Trump University claims
Trump: Throw money at an issue to make it disappear
Trump: Credibility?

Eventually the tireless fact checkers & those that read and comprehend beyond the
sound bites will connect the dots which cannot be bought out.

DOUBLE DOWN ON DON

fine7760
Guest

Warren Buffet is just as bad. A big Democratic supporter who has made billions transporting the Canadian Oil that was supposed to flow thru the Keystone Pipeline. He owns Burlington Northern-Santa Fe out right. It’s his personally owned railroad. His company Berkshire – Hathaway holds controlling stock in the Northfolk-Southern Railroad. Do we really believe Obama stopped the pipeline for environmental reasons?

And it’s been reported George Saros, another big democratic supporter is going after President Trump because Saros is losing money on his investments which were based on a failing U.S. economy.

kab1200
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kab1200

Yeah, I hate Trump, but this story is ridiculous.

Observer
Guest
Observer

Excellent Tyrone. Once one becomes acquainted with The Bilderberg Group you gain some perspective as to what drives what and how.

Tyrone
Guest
Tyrone

For those on the verge of conspiracy theories coming true, I suggest listening to Catherine Austin Fitts, a former HUD official in Bush I, who was a whistle blower about HUD money-laundering drug money for black projects (unbelievable you’d think but…). Bush II then years destroying her and her company (I know–how dare anyone attack “Daddy” Bush??)….and she actually won her law suits against him. She has a financial consulting firm called Solari, and speaks out around the world about many serious and troubling issues with a sincere desire to help the world be a better place. But the information… Read more »

SE
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SE

@fine7760 – please watch Betsy DeVos’s testimony this week and tell me how LGBT children feel safe in our schools. Her statements represent his regime, so again, what he says and what he does remain consistently at odds.

fine7760
Guest

If you are speaking of the questions about a private christian school in Indiana I believe a LGBT youth would feel uncomfortable in a school that teaches homosexuality is wrong as part of their religious beliefs. Ms DeVos is a strong supporter of states rights and said rights should be upheld. The LGBT rights issue is but one of many special groups. There are colleges that exempt some groups over others but they receive federal dollars. There are programs in Los Angeles that favor one racial group over another but that does not seem to be attacked. Hell, there is… Read more »