Judge rules Upper West Side condo can remove Trump’s name from its building

May 3, 2018

Photo via Nick Normal’s Flickr

Following year-long resistance from the Trump Organization, a judge ruled on Thursday that an Upper West Side condo could remove the president’s name from the exterior of the 46-story building, according to the New York Times. Condo owners at 200 Riverside Boulevard will now be able to vote on whether to keep or remove the bronze letters spelling “TRUMP” on the building, where they have hung for nearly two decades. The ruling comes after board members at Trump Place asked a judge in January to issue a declaratory judgment that the condo has the right to either keep or remove the letters without violating its licensing agreement. On Thursday, Justice Eileen Bransten said removing letters does not violate the agreement.

Owners in the building, Trump Place, voted in February 2017 to remove the president’s name. A straw poll of residents found that roughly two-thirds of the 253 condo owners who voted wanted to remove the name. The neighboring buildings at 140, 160, and 180 Riverside Boulevard successfully removed his name around the same time. But after receiving legal threats from the Trump Organization, residents of 200 Boulevard decided to hold off on removal.

While the use of Donald Trump’s name was secured in a licensing agreement from 2000, which describes the president as “worldwide renowned builder…who enjoys the highest reputation,” the Trump Organization does not own the building. Judge Bransten on Thursday said the four-page agreement does not require the Trump’s name to be used, but instead, gives permission to use it.

Moving forward, the board will conduct an official vote of owners to decide the fate of the letters. They have estimated it will cost $19,000 to remove the letters and $23,000 to wash the building’s facade afterward. If they vote to remove the president’s name, 200 Boulevard will join the ranks of formerly Trump-branded buildings in Stamford, Soho and Panama.

In addition losing his name on some, Trump is suffering from setbacks in sales. The Wall Street Journal reported that condo sales at Trump Tower have slowed since last fall, with just one sale so far this year. Prices at the Fifth Avenue tower fell by 30 percent between 2015 and 2017, which takes into account a shift in sales to lower priced units.

[Via NY Times]


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