Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are living in a nearly 7,000-square-foot rental home in the Kalorama neighbourhood of Washington, DC. They don’t own the home, however.
They’re renting it from billionaire landlord Andrónico Luksic, who bought the home for $US5.5 million through a shell company in December. The Chilean national is renting the home to the family for a sum of $US15,000 a month, the Wall Street Journal reported after obtaining newly released documents.
He is also the owner of a mining conglomerate — Antofagasta PLC and its subsidiary, Twin Metals Minnesota LLC — which is feuding with the US government over a mineral deposit worth billions of dollars.
The company’s wish to build a mine in Minnesota was blocked by Obama-era federal regulators because of environmental concerns. The mine, which would have brought up copper and nickel ore from one of the largest reserves of such metals in the world, would have been adjacent to a protected wilderness area.
In September, Twin Metals sued the federal government in a Minnesota federal court to renew the company’s leases on the copper and nickel reserves in the area, which are estimated to be worth $US40 billion, according to a court filing. The company argued on the basis that it had long-standing mineral rights stretching back to 1966. The company’s request, however, was denied in December.
Twin Metals has asked the Trump administration to reverse the court’s decision, and it has spent $US160,000 lobbying the federal government.
Representatives of both the White House and Luksic had previously said that Trump and Kushner were paying a fair market rent to live in the Kalorama home. The couple was searching for a home to rent last year, and they looked at this mansion in particular. A broker reportedly put the deal together with the new owner, Luksic.
Real estate expert Joshua Adler told the WSJ that the $US15,000 rent — which comes out to roughly 2.5% of the home’s value after taxes and insurance — is “a terrible investment” for Luksic. But it is in line with what homes of that size and location rent for, according to Jim Bell, a real estate professional with TTR Sotheby’s.
A representative for the billionaire told the WSJ that Luksic expects a $US1 million appreciation on the house in the next year, and isn’t concerned about short-term gain from the rental income.
Kalorama is the neighbourhood where the Obama family has been living since the Barack Obama left office. The relatively small area is popular with politicians and DC insiders for its seclusion and privacy.
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