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Tenants flee Trump Tower: 'The name on the building became a problem'

No one wants to buy property or rent space at Trump Tower.

By Oliver Willis - May 14, 2019
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Chris Kleponis / Pool via CNP

Trump’s presidency has been a disaster for his personal crown jewel, Trump Tower in Manhattan.

While Manhattan real estate has been thriving in the strong economy he inherited from President Barack Obama, Trump Tower can’t find commercial tenants, and condo residents have been selling off their properties in the building.

“The commercial portion of the building has been struggling for months to find tenants for more than 42,000 square feet of vacant office space,” Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Trump Tower’s occupancy rate is 83%, a 16-point decline from the 99% occupancy rate it had 7 years ago. That rate of vacancy is also twice the average of other buildings in Manhattan.

And the vacancies persist despite advertising rents far below the average in the same neighborhood, according to Bloomberg.

“If I were looking for office space, that would be a building I’d want to avoid,” real estate market analyst Edward Son, told the outlet.

The residential portion of the tower is also experiencing a Trump slump.

At least 13 Trump Tower condos have been sold since Trump won the election in 2016. For nine of the properties, the original purchase price is available via public records, and the data show that eight of them were sold at a loss.

“It’s rare that someone owns an apartment here for 10 years and takes a loss,” Manhattan-based real estate broker Matthew D. Hughes told Bloomberg.

“The name on the building became a problem,” said Michael Sklar, whose family owned a unit in the building. He recently sold the property for almost the same amount it was purchased for in 2004. Sklar noted the increased security presence thanks to Trump’s presidency, which has become a daily hassle for those who live there.

“No one wants in that building,” Sklar said.

One of the few bright spots for Trump Tower has come from Trump’s reelection campaign, which has spent over $890,000 renting space there.Bloomberg also reported that a New York real estate agent said his clients have repeatedly told him not to show them units in Trump buildings.

That echoes the pattern seen at other Trump properties, most notably the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

In addition to foreign interests and lobbyists who spend lavishly there to influence his presidency, the hotel has often been the site for Republican Party and Trump reelection events that pump Republican donor funds right back into Trump’s pockets.

Trump’s presidency is infested with his racism, bigotry, and ineptitude. He’s also incredibly unpopular in New York City. By avoiding Trump’s property, prospective tenants — personal and commercial — escape being tainted by the Trump brand.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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