In heated legal battle, condo board says it has the right to remove Trump’s name

Posted On Thu, January 11, 2018 By

Posted On Thu, January 11, 2018 By In Policy, Upper West Side 

Trump Place Apartments courtesy of Nick Normal’s Flickr

While never especially popular in his hometown, President Donald Trump’s approval in New York City dropped even more so after his election. His unpopularity among New Yorkers has taken a toll on his real estate empire: both average sales price and the average price per square footage at the 11 Trump-branded condos fell below the average in this area for the first time ever. And some residents living in condos that bear the president’s name have started petitions to remove Trump from the building’s exterior. At one 48-story luxury building on the Upper West Side, residents are debating whether or not to remove his name. The condo board at 200 Riverside Boulevard, or “Trump Place,” now potentially faces a lawsuit from DJT Holdings, a company owned by Trump, for seeking to remove the name, the New York Post reported.

Trump first purchased the Riverside property during the 1980s but soon sold it to a group of Chinese billionaires because of financial troubles. Use of the Trump name on the development was secured in a four-page licensing agreement signed in 2000. The agreement, which describes Trump as a “worldwide renowned builder…who enjoys the highest reputation,” gives DJT Holdings the right to leave the deal if the building enters bankruptcy, is “destroyed,” or stops being a condominium.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization in March sent a letter to the board warning that the removal of the letters would result in a “flagrant and material breach of the license agreement.”

According to the New York Times, the residential committee of the board asked the court to issue a declaratory judgment that the condo has the right to either remove or keep the letters without violating its licensing agreement. The committee says the agreement “does not obligate the board to use or display identifications” but “grants the board the right to use the identifications should the board choose to do so.”

Harry Lipman, the condo’s lawyer, told the Times in a statement: “If we obtain the ruling, the committee will give the unit owners the opportunity to express themselves through a fair and democratic vote on the issue without any threat of legal action by the licensor.”

Even before Trump took office, condo buildings at 140, 160 and 180 Riverside Boulevard removed his name last year after hundreds of residents signed a petition calling for a change. As 6sqft covered last month, Trump Soho became the Dominick Hotel, after the former suffered from a decline in event bookings and price of accommodations.

[Via NY Post]


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Neighborhoods : Upper West Side



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