America is not what it used to be now that Donald Trump is president, and living in Trump Tower isn’t either, according to a story Tuesday on Bloomberg.
“Trump Tower, once the crown jewel in Donald Trump’s property empire, now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan,” wrote Shahien Nasirpour of Bloomberg under the headline “Trump Tower Is Now One of NYC’s Least-Desirable Luxury Buildings.”
The story had two subheads – “Most condo owners who sold since 2016 have recorded a loss” and “’No one wants in that building,’ says one former owner.”
The problems are comprehensive, Nasirpour wrote. “The 36-year-old building has been turned into a fortress since Trump won the presidency, ringed with concrete barriers and the two main entrances partially blocked off,” Nasirpour wrote. ”It hasn’t been substantially updated in years. And Trump’s name has been a huge turnoff in liberal New York City.”
As such, the building is a “far cry from the days when the New York landmark attracted the likes of Michael Jackson, Johnny Carson and Steven Spielberg,” Nasirpour wrote. “These days, it’s better known for a Trump campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer documented in Robert Mueller’s Russia report.”
As a result, Nasirpour wrote, “For anyone who owns a unit in the tower, the past two years have been brutal.” Most condo sales have “led to a loss after adjusting for inflation” – several at 20 percent or more. This at a time when only 0.23 percent of all properties that sold in Manhattan were sold at a loss.
Not all the Trump properties are suffering, Nasirpour wrote. The hotel blocks from the White House is flourishing, for instance. But “rounds of golf at his public course in New York” are down, “a clutch of Trump-branded buildings have torn his name off their fronts, and an ambitious plan to launch a new mid-tier hotel chain across the country fizzled.”
Not removed … torn off.
President Trump’s annual financial disclosures are due out this week, but although they won’t directly address the Trump Organization’s revenues, “it’s clear that Trump Tower is suffering, based on securities filings, property records, real estate listings and interviews with industry insiders,” Nasirpour wrote.
The building has more than 42,000 square feet of vacant office space and is advertising rents well below the area’s average, Nasirpour wrote. Its occupancy rate is 83 percent now, down from 99 percent, which means its vacancy rate is twice Manhattan’s average, Nasirpour wrote.
“On any given midweek afternoon, the number of government and Trump Organization security personnel rivaled the number of other people inside the building’s atrium,” Nasirpour wrote.
Bloomberg admitted that income to Trump Tower regularly produces a profit and generated $10 million in net cash flow last year. That actually represented an increase in revenue, but Nasirpour said that was only because of more than $890,000 in rent paid over the last two years by the Trump campaign committee, which has offices in the building.
Residents are annoyed, Bloomberg reported, because those “hoping to run into the president on occasion,” but he’s visited only 13 times since his inauguration.
With Trump rarely visiting, his show The Apprentice no longer taped there, a softening of the market for high-end housing, it’s not that surprising that values have flatlined, Nasirpour wrote.
But the data was not enough for Nasirpour who quoted one “New York real estate agent, who didn’t want to be identified discussing Trump,” saying “clients have repeatedly told him not to show them units in Trump buildings. These days, gawkers sometimes outnumber the customers of the building’s remaining retail stores.”
“’It’s totally a tourist trap,” Nasirpour quoted the woman who oversaw construction of Trump Tower for the Trump organization. “It’s dated, but it’s a building worthy of respect.”
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Author: Brian McNicoll