Why Some People Had a Problem with Donald Trump’s Plan for Mar-a-Lago

If you’ve ever wondered what Donald Trump’s life is like at Mar-a-Lago, the “Winter White House,” you’re in luck. In a book titled Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace, author Laurence Leamer discusses what Melania and Donald Trump’s life is like behind the doors. He also talks about Trump’s fight to redevelop the estate. Here’s why some people had a problem with Donald Trump’s plan for Mar-a-Lago.

Donald Trump got a tip about Mar-a-Lago from his driver

Donald Trump|Eilon Paz/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Donald Trump|Eilon Paz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump wrote about the first time he saw the estate in his book Trump: The Art of the Comeback. Back in 1985, Trump says his driver was taking him to a dinner party in Florida when he asked him about real estate in the area. “What’s for sale in town that’s really good?” Trump asked. The driver proceeded to tell him about Mar-a-Lago, the 17-acre estate that was built by cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. After seeing inside the 58-bedrooms, 33-bathroom property, he expressed his excitement, writing in his book, “I immediately knew it had to be mine.”

Why Donald Trump bought Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump|Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Donald Trump|Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump’s original plan was to turn the estate into a series of mansions. This would be a home away from home for him and his family. Trump reportedly paid $10 million for his Mar-a-Lago property. This is significantly less than his original offer of $25 million. The sale included 17 acres of land and all the original home furnishings. He also later purchased the beachfront property in front of the estate

People in town didn’t agree with Donald Trump’s plans to redevelop Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump|Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Donald Trump|Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Although Trump knew he had to have the estate, there were challenges he had to overcome. He received some resistance from people in the town. They weren’t in agreement with his plans to turn Mar-a-Lago into a series of mansions. The town council saw Trump as an outsider, so they imposed a list of restrictions in response to his desire to redevelop the property. “Membership, traffic, party attendance, even photography — all would be strictly limited,” reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Mar-a-Lago is described as “socially intimidating”

Donald Trump| Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Donald Trump| Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Leamer said Mar-a-Lago is the most “socially intimidating place in America.” In an article for Vanity Fair, he described a town that he said was unwelcoming to outsiders:

When Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach was by far the most socially intimidating place in America. When a newcomer drove over one of the three bridges into this ghetto of privilege, the town seemed to give off vibes saying, “you aren’t wanted.” There was rarely anybody on the streets. Everything and everyone was behind high hedges, including the aged Rose Kennedy and businesswoman Estée Lauder. On Worth Avenue, the few female shoppers wore heels and stockings and looked with undisguised dismay at anyone so déclassé as to be attired in a T-shirt or slacks.

Trump got his way in the end

Donald Trump|Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Donald Trump|Ethan Miller/Getty Images

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Palm Beach council members tried to make things difficult for Trump. Council members were concerned about construction and the noise associated with it, but Trump was able to have the restrictions lifted. He pushed back and found a way around the protestors’ concerns, and later transformed the property into a resort and golf club. There were certain rules about how his club could be run, but according to Leamer, Trump managed to circumvent those rules.

Read more: How Much Time Does Donald Trump Spend with Melania Trump?

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