“The Art of the Deal” has taken a precarious turn in Jamaica Estates, where our president’s childhood house has been hijacked by a new kind of competitor. In short, President Trump has been trumped by none other than Airbnb, which relies on unique rentals rather than splashy brick-and-mortar hotels to build its fortune.
Since June, Airbnb has been pushing the five-bedroom, Tudor-style house, where Trump spent his first four years on Wareham Road, as a celebrity destination for $750 a night. The overnight stay is a real steal since it can sleep 20 people, which works out to $37.50 per person.
Michael Davis, a real estate investor, bought the house for $1.3 million at an auction in December after Trump became the 45th president and flipped it for $2.1 million in March. The buyer was listed as Trump Birth House LLC, which has a certain non-historical ring to it.
Within months, the Airbnb listing appeared: “POTUS – Donald J. Trump’s childhood home. Stay in the heart of NYC in the president’s childhood home. Featured in hundreds of news articles, stay in a part of living history.”
It also mentioned that the house is near the F subway line, but omitted any reference to how Queens straphangers are struggling to get through the “Summer of Hell.”
As an added bonus, scroll through the web site: There is a life-size cardboard cutout of Trump in one of the rooms and a plaque in another suggesting that is where “The Donald” was conceived.
No gold-plated sign outside touting “Trump’s Humble Beginnings” or a Twitter history of the dwelling’s provenance, however. But we do know this is the house Fred Trump, the president’s ambitious developer father, built to raise his family before moving to a more upscale home in the same affluent neighborhood.
As for No. 45, he told “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon that he wanted to buy the house back in September when it was up for sale, but the presidential campaign must have been too much of a diversion.
In fact, Trump missed out on the chance of a lifetime to market his first home as the birthplace of “Make America Great Again.” It’s a far cry from Lincoln’s modest log cabin and not quite up to the standards of Jefferson’s Tuckahoe plantation. But his beloved 85-15 Wareham Road origins may mean more to him than the White House, which he has declared a dump. And even on Pennsylvania Avenue, he has to share his 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, but at least not with Airbnb visitors.