Donald Trump Celebrates  Billion Real Estate Deal in His Backyard

Jeff Sutton, a prominent New York City real estate entrepreneur, has sold 717 Fifth Avenue to luxury brand Gucci for $963 million, a deal that’s caught the eye of former president and real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Trump, whose own real estate holdings include the Trump Tower less than six blocks away, applauded the transaction on Truth Social, congratulating Sutton on the near $1 billion deal. Sutton’s landmark sale of 717 Fifth Avenue adds to his streak of high-profile New York real estate deals, including the recent $835 million combined sales of properties to Prada.

Sutton, known for his real estate acumen and a net worth of $2.7 billion, according to Forbes, is the founder and president of Wharton Properties, a New York-based commercial real estate company. His portfolio, boasting over 120 prime New York City properties, has been shaped alongside Eliot Tawil, a known associate who has financially supported Trump. Tawil contributed $2,800 to Trump’s 2020 campaign on two occasions, according to campaign finance tracker Open Secrets.

As Sutton celebrates his recent near-billion-dollar real estate triumph, the former president’s nearby Trump Tower and adjacent businesses face scrutiny amidst ongoing legal scrutiny. The outcome of Trump’s defamation case brought by former Elle writer E Jean Carroll, for which he’s already been found liable, looms, potentially shaking his real estate realm after New York Attorney General Letitia James’s probe established his liability in fraudulent activities.

Carroll is seeking $10 million in damages for defamation from Trump. In 2023, a jury found Trump sexually abused Carroll in the mid-1990s at a New York City department store and defamed her over it.

Donald Trump Celebrates  Billion Real Estate Deal in His Backyard
People make their way past the Trump Tower in New York City. Trump congratulated billionaire real estate mogul Jeff Sutton for his near $1 billion sale of a NYC storefront to luxury brand Gucci.

Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress/getty

James’ case, which has been a focal point while Trump aims to secure the GOP nomination for the 2024 presidential election, revolves around allegations of fraudulent practices in asset valuations by Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and their business entity, The Trump Organization. The case hinges on accusations of systematic overstatement of assets to secure favorable loans and insurance terms, described as a scheme to inflate Trump’s net worth.

AG James has proposed a substantial financial penalty of $370 million against Trump and associates, Newsweek previously reported, significantly higher than the initial $250 million sought, as well as banning the former president from dealing in the real estate industry.

Trump’s defense has strongly denied the allegations, asserting no real-world impact or material misstatements in the financial statements in question. They argue that the case is a political maneuver targeting Trump’s presidential campaign.

Newsweek has reached out to the Trump campaign via email for comment.

With closing arguments concluded, anticipation mounts over the final ruling by Judge Arthur Engoron, expected by the end of January. The decision will determine the financial repercussions for Trump and could also significantly impact his future business endeavors.