Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California

Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California
Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Donald Trump and the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California - Mary Cummins Real Estate Appraiser

Donald Trump, Donald J Trump, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles California Wilshire Robert Kennedy shot killed Coconut Grove Nightclub
Today the LA Times had an article about Donald Trump buying the Ambassador Hotel and trying to build the tallest building in the world on the site. The development was to include retail, commercial and residential uses.  http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-california-20161017snap-20161017-snap-story.html Instead the LA Unified School District took the property through eminent domain and built the current Robert F Kennedy school.

I was one of the appraisers involved as an expert real estate witness in the litigation between the then owners and other parties. (Due to client confidentiality I can only disclose public facts about the property. I would of course never share any client information or any confidential information.) Because my appraisal was used in the original litigation I kept getting deposed for the next ten years. Every time there would be a conference room full of at least ten lawyers.

When I first appraised the hotel in 1989 it had just been permanently shut down for only a few months. On my initial inspection there was already significant damage to the interior of the property. That damage caused rain to flood the Coconut Grove Nightclub. It also appeared to have been damaged by vandals. I'm sure the vandalism is what caused them to gate the entire property and hire guards. I was walking over soggy broken dishes, moldy carpet and lots of trash. I immediately considered the property a tear down due to the extensive damage. It didn't look that bad from the outside.

My scope of work was to figure out the highest and best use/uses, find comparables for those uses, calculate the cost to demolish, cost to dispose of hazardous waste... to arrive at the ultimate current fair market value for the land for development purposes.

The site was actually about four square blocks combined missing the two front corner lots and one lot depth of land off the western side which were old apartments. Because of the complex nature of the appraisal I had to use a few different commercial valuation theories to arrive at the ultimate value of the land. Needless to say I had to use a few assumptions.

During the course of meetings, depositions I met Donald Trump's then right hand person for the real estate development division of his company Barbara Res. I never realized she was not just a real estate attorney but also an engineer. That explains her extreme knowledge of building materials and practices. She no longer works with Trump and has since written a book about her experience "All Alone on the 68th Floor." She also recently wrote an Op-Ed about Donald Trump and women. I completely agree with her assessment of Trump.

Originally I was shocked to see a woman oversee real estate development for Donald Trump. I already knew how he treated women through social encounters. Based on Res' Op-Ed I agree that Trump took advantage of the fact that women in the 1980's 1990's in the man's world of commercial real estate, development had to be tougher and work harder, longer than men. I also agree that Donald Trump is not fit to be President.

After LAUSD took the Ambassador Hotel property and built the school I no longer was dragged back into deposition. I destroyed my files three years after the end of the final litigation. I would never have been able to share the files publicly anyway. Here's some information about the Ambassador Hotel from the Los Angeles Conservancy.

https://www.laconservancy.org/locations/ambassador-hotel-demolished

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


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