What has a 60-foot waterfall, hosted Michael Jackson, and is over 16 percent shorter than advertised? What has housed Russian mafia members, is two blocks from Central Park, and people avoid it like the plague? The answer might be not too difficult, but its other troubles might be quite startling.
Trump Tower has been all those things and more, but it became one of the “least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan,” according to The Bloomberg News.
The skyscraper has over 42,000 square feet of empty office space even though they have been renting at below market. The occupancy rate plunged from 99 percent to 83 percent, which is double the going rate in Manhattan.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) did show that the 2020 Trump campaign committee spent $890,000 plus in the past two years. Plus, the Secret Service has spent a small fortune guarding the place, even though the president has only been there 13 times in the past two years.
The family business, The Trump Organization, was placed in Trump Tower for the president’s convenience. The former company executive managed the skyscraper’s construction Barbara Res said:
‘It’s totally a tourist trap.’
Res had good memories of the building. Trump would bring in celebrities to buy his condos and lease to high-end brands in its retail area. POTUS built the skyscraper in 1983, and Res said:
‘It’s dated but it’s a building worthy of respect…I don’t think I would want an office in Trump Tower. Why would you go there? It’s a wonder he doesn’t have 50% vacancy.’
Recent market analyst for CoStar Group Inc. Edward Son said:
‘If I were looking for office space, that would be a building I’d want to avoid.’
Michael Sklar’s parents bought a condo on the 57th floor of the Trump Tower for $1.4 million in 2004. They spent $400,000 to remodel it for a total of $1,800,000 before selling their home with only a breath’s profit at $1.84 million. That was a $40,000 profit in a 15-year real estate investment. Sklar said:
‘No one wants in that building.’
The reason Sklar’s parents sold was the inconvenience that Trump’s election caused. His mother contracted cancer. She used to get a drop-off at the front door when she took a cab from the airport. After the election, security made her cab let her out several hundred feet from the entrance. For her, it was a “long and painful walk home.” Sklar continued:
‘The name on the building became a problem.’
Manhattan broker at Brown Harris Stevens, Matthew Hughes spoke about the market:
‘The luxury market is softening. But it’s rare that someone owns an apartment here for 10 years and takes a loss.’
Donald Trump’s attorney George Ross released a book Trump Strategies for Real Estate: Billionaire Lessons for the Small Investor in 2005. He wrote about Trump:
‘He single-handedly created the market for high-end luxury residences in New York City.’
Ever since Trump became president, his namesake Trump Tower has become an unpleasant place to live. Residents must avoid the concrete barriers, and security has reduced the number of entrances by two.
Even with these inconveniences and the dismal fact that the skyscraper had not been updated in years, the biggest problem has been the name of their building includes “Trump.” Only .23 percent of Manhattan condos have sold at a loss over the last two-year period. Trump’s condos have been selling at a loss, some at a 20 percent loss.
Trump Tower has not been the only Trump property to suffer. His golf courses have not been making money, although, that may be a systemic industry problem. Some of the people who owned properties with his name licensed to them have suffered as a result of POTUS’ and literally ripped the name off of their buildings.