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Indicted Trump donor funded Doug Manchester hotel

David Alvarez scores with LA's Kilroy Realty and ambulance firm AMR

Last year, S&P reported that Colony Credit Real Estate, majority-owned by Colony Capital, was looking to sell a $145 million loan on the Fairmont Grand Del Mar luxury resort (above), developed by Doug Manchester in the northern reaches of San Diego.
Last year, S&P reported that Colony Credit Real Estate, majority-owned by Colony Capital, was looking to sell a $145 million loan on the Fairmont Grand Del Mar luxury resort (above), developed by Doug Manchester in the northern reaches of San Diego.

Papa Doug’s benefactor

Tom Barrack, a top Donald Trump’s presidential money-raiser indicted last week for failing to register as a foreign agent, has many ties to San Diego, not the least of which is his law school diploma from the University of San Diego, awarded in 1972. The prominent Lebanese American was accused by feds of illegally lobbying the U.S. government on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, the super-rich Persian Gulf state.

Doug Manchester likely won’t be taking Barrack to the future.

An Associated Press dispatch run by the Union-Tribune the day following the indictment failed to mention Barrack’s San Diego connections, including his longstanding links to onetime U-T publisher and hotel mogul Doug Manchester. As noted here back in October 2014, Barrack’s Colony Capital came forward to bankroll Manchester’s long-proposed convention hotel in Texas, and the U-T, then owned by Manchester, was full of the news. “Having had the privilege of working with both ‘Papa’ Doug Manchester and the Manchester Group for over a decade, we see this as a continuation of a great and valued relationship. Papa Doug Manchester’s outstanding development success highlights his keen ability to execute with superb market timing,” Barrack said in a statement. “We are looking forward to yet again working with ‘Papa’ Doug, his son Doug, and Fairmont [Hotels] in the dynamic, growing city of Austin.’” After a troubled development history, including Manchester’s desperate search for financing, which involved repeated trips to China before Barrack emerged, the Fairmont finally opened in 2018, only to be shuttered during the Covid-19 pandemic. The hotel reopened to the public in May. Back in San Diego, Barrack once appeared to be a potential source of development funds for Manchester’s giant Navy-Broadway complex, but the ex-U-T publisher sold his rights to the eight-acre plot last year. The buyer was IQHQ, a biotech office developer. Manchester retained two blocks to build yet another hotel, and until his indictment at least, Barrack remained a potential lender.

Last year, S&P reported that Colony Credit Real Estate, majority-owned by Colony Capital, was looking to sell a $145 million loan on the Fairmont Grand Del Mar luxury resort, developed by Manchester in the northern reaches of San Diego. Manchester’s nomination by Trump to become U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas languished in a Senate committee with no hearing for two sessions before being pulled. Colony is today known as DigitalBridge, and Barrack, who reportedly had fallen out with Trump due to his handling of inaugural fundraising, resigned from the board after his indictment. Barrack has seen previous political controversy in the form of a big favor done for Ed Meese, a Ronald Reagan intimate and onetime USD law professor who sold his La Mesa house to move to Washington. Barrack “took in effect a $60,000 loss in arranging the sale of the Meese house in California, and three months later was appointed to a Federal job,” noted New York Times columnist Bill Safire in March 1984. “However, Howard Metzenbaum’s sophisticated questioning at a Senate hearing failed to shake Mr. Barrack’s story that he thought he had a good financial deal and it just turned sour; that Mr. Meese knew nothing of the arrangement; and that Mr. Barrack had been offered a job previously by a lifelong friend who was the White House chief recruiter.”

Inside baseball

Mara Elliott: $261 buys a whole bunch of peanuts and Cracker Jacks.

Amplify Campaigns, the political consulting outfit run by Dan Rottenstreich, took city attorney Mara Elliott out to the ballgame, to the tune of $261 worth of food, beverage, and a Padres ticket she got June 22. Elliott has been one of Amplify’s loyal clients, along with county supervisor Nathan Fletcher, ex-city councilwoman Georgette Gómez, Jen Campbell for San Diego City Council, and a group backing House member Mike Levin, all Democrats...The lobbying business of ex-city council Democrat David Alvarez, who lost his 2014 battle for mayor to Republican Kevin Faulconer, now running for governor, took in some sizable cash during the second quarter of this year, per a July 20 with the city clerk’s office. Los Angeles developer Kilroy Realty, seeking to build a biotech lab and office complex in the East Village, came up with $34,000 for Alvarez’s Causa Consulting. In addition, AMR, the city’s incumbent paramedic ambulance provider, which lost its contract to Falck in an April council vote, paid Causa $8000....Ex-mayor Kevin Faulconer continues to collect gubernatorial campaign cash from San Diego builders and developers. Latest donors to Faulconer’s 2022 fund include apartment manager R & V Management, with $10,000, and Pecoraro, Inc., a construction company, with $5000, both on July 19.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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Last year, S&P reported that Colony Credit Real Estate, majority-owned by Colony Capital, was looking to sell a $145 million loan on the Fairmont Grand Del Mar luxury resort (above), developed by Doug Manchester in the northern reaches of San Diego.
Last year, S&P reported that Colony Credit Real Estate, majority-owned by Colony Capital, was looking to sell a $145 million loan on the Fairmont Grand Del Mar luxury resort (above), developed by Doug Manchester in the northern reaches of San Diego.

Papa Doug’s benefactor

Tom Barrack, a top Donald Trump’s presidential money-raiser indicted last week for failing to register as a foreign agent, has many ties to San Diego, not the least of which is his law school diploma from the University of San Diego, awarded in 1972. The prominent Lebanese American was accused by feds of illegally lobbying the U.S. government on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, the super-rich Persian Gulf state.

Doug Manchester likely won’t be taking Barrack to the future.

An Associated Press dispatch run by the Union-Tribune the day following the indictment failed to mention Barrack’s San Diego connections, including his longstanding links to onetime U-T publisher and hotel mogul Doug Manchester. As noted here back in October 2014, Barrack’s Colony Capital came forward to bankroll Manchester’s long-proposed convention hotel in Texas, and the U-T, then owned by Manchester, was full of the news. “Having had the privilege of working with both ‘Papa’ Doug Manchester and the Manchester Group for over a decade, we see this as a continuation of a great and valued relationship. Papa Doug Manchester’s outstanding development success highlights his keen ability to execute with superb market timing,” Barrack said in a statement. “We are looking forward to yet again working with ‘Papa’ Doug, his son Doug, and Fairmont [Hotels] in the dynamic, growing city of Austin.’” After a troubled development history, including Manchester’s desperate search for financing, which involved repeated trips to China before Barrack emerged, the Fairmont finally opened in 2018, only to be shuttered during the Covid-19 pandemic. The hotel reopened to the public in May. Back in San Diego, Barrack once appeared to be a potential source of development funds for Manchester’s giant Navy-Broadway complex, but the ex-U-T publisher sold his rights to the eight-acre plot last year. The buyer was IQHQ, a biotech office developer. Manchester retained two blocks to build yet another hotel, and until his indictment at least, Barrack remained a potential lender.

Last year, S&P reported that Colony Credit Real Estate, majority-owned by Colony Capital, was looking to sell a $145 million loan on the Fairmont Grand Del Mar luxury resort, developed by Manchester in the northern reaches of San Diego. Manchester’s nomination by Trump to become U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas languished in a Senate committee with no hearing for two sessions before being pulled. Colony is today known as DigitalBridge, and Barrack, who reportedly had fallen out with Trump due to his handling of inaugural fundraising, resigned from the board after his indictment. Barrack has seen previous political controversy in the form of a big favor done for Ed Meese, a Ronald Reagan intimate and onetime USD law professor who sold his La Mesa house to move to Washington. Barrack “took in effect a $60,000 loss in arranging the sale of the Meese house in California, and three months later was appointed to a Federal job,” noted New York Times columnist Bill Safire in March 1984. “However, Howard Metzenbaum’s sophisticated questioning at a Senate hearing failed to shake Mr. Barrack’s story that he thought he had a good financial deal and it just turned sour; that Mr. Meese knew nothing of the arrangement; and that Mr. Barrack had been offered a job previously by a lifelong friend who was the White House chief recruiter.”

Inside baseball

Mara Elliott: $261 buys a whole bunch of peanuts and Cracker Jacks.

Amplify Campaigns, the political consulting outfit run by Dan Rottenstreich, took city attorney Mara Elliott out to the ballgame, to the tune of $261 worth of food, beverage, and a Padres ticket she got June 22. Elliott has been one of Amplify’s loyal clients, along with county supervisor Nathan Fletcher, ex-city councilwoman Georgette Gómez, Jen Campbell for San Diego City Council, and a group backing House member Mike Levin, all Democrats...The lobbying business of ex-city council Democrat David Alvarez, who lost his 2014 battle for mayor to Republican Kevin Faulconer, now running for governor, took in some sizable cash during the second quarter of this year, per a July 20 with the city clerk’s office. Los Angeles developer Kilroy Realty, seeking to build a biotech lab and office complex in the East Village, came up with $34,000 for Alvarez’s Causa Consulting. In addition, AMR, the city’s incumbent paramedic ambulance provider, which lost its contract to Falck in an April council vote, paid Causa $8000....Ex-mayor Kevin Faulconer continues to collect gubernatorial campaign cash from San Diego builders and developers. Latest donors to Faulconer’s 2022 fund include apartment manager R & V Management, with $10,000, and Pecoraro, Inc., a construction company, with $5000, both on July 19.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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