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Trump Tower is now one of NYC's least-desirable luxury buildings

Shahien Nasiripour, Bloomberg News on

Published in Business News

NEW YORK -- Trump Tower, once the crown jewel in Donald Trump's property empire, now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.

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. It hasn't been substantially updated in years. And Trump's name has been a huge turnoff in liberal New York City.

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, property records show. Several sold at more than a 20 percent loss. By contrast, across Manhattan, just 0.23 percent of homes over the past two years sold at a loss, according to PropertyShark, a real-estate data provider.

It's all a far cry from the days when the New York landmark attracted the likes of Michael Jackson, Johnny Carson and Steven Spielberg. These days, it's better known for a Trump campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer documented in Robert Mueller's Russia report.

While some corners of Trump's business empire have thrived, such as his Washington D.C. hotel, others have suffered from his high unpopularity. Rounds of golf are down at his public course in New York, a clutch of once 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.

Trump is scheduled to provide an updated snapshot of his net worth this week, with his annual financial disclosures due Wednesday. The documents won't go into detail about the Trump Organization's revenues, but it's clear that Trump Tower is suffering, based on securities filings, property records, real estate listings, and interviews with industry insiders.

 

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, despite advertising rents well below the area's average, listings and data from real estate brokers show.

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.

Occupancy Rate Plunged

Trump Tower's occupancy rate has plunged over the last seven years to 83 percent from 99 percent, giving it a vacancy rate that's about twice Manhattan's average.

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