Some Trump Palace apartment owners want to remove the building’s name

June 5, 2017

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Despite winning the presidential election last fall, Donald Trump’s New York City properties have hit a losing streak. Trump-branded hotels and condos throughout the city have seen a sharp decline in event bookings and property values. And at the 55-story Trump Palace at 200 East 69th Street, one of the tallest towers in the neighborhood, the average unit sits on the market for 107 days, 35 percent longer than the average luxury unit. To combat declining property values, an apartment owner at Trump Palace has written a letter asking neighbors to come together and remove the name “Trump” from the building, as the Hollywood Reporter discovered.

Since 2003, Laurence Weiss, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, has owned a 3,600-square-foot, four bedroom apartment at Trump Palace. For the last two years, he’s attempted to sell his apartment and has seen the value drop from $15 million to its current asking price of $8.9 million. His letter to fellow owners reads, “The problem is real and will not go away anytime soon…We, the owners can change the name if ⅔ of us agree. I am asking you to support my effort to remove the name Trump from the building and change the legal name from Trump Palace Condominium to 200 E 68th St. Condominium…”

Trump SoHo, a hotel-condominium located at 246 Spring Street, has also suffered financially in the aftermath of Trump’s election. As 6sqft previously covered, what once were $700-per-night rooms now go for under $400 per night. While last year the hotel booked 29 large corporate events, just 11 events were booked this year with fewer big-name groups in the same time frame. And although Trump’s New York real estate has taken some hits, room rates at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. have risen and the membership fees at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort have doubled.

Liberal pundit Keith Olbermann sold his apartment at Trump Palace last September, taking a loss of $400,000. He bought the unit for $4.2 million in 2007 and sold it in 2016 for $3.9 million.  At the time, Olbermann famously tweeted, ““FREEEEEEEEE!” and “got out with 90% of my money and 100% of my soul!”

Weiss said he sent out 260 letters and received just 56 responses, with 32 owners who want to change the name and 24 against it. He told the Hollywood Reporter he’s not that optimistic his letter will do much to change the name. “I am as embarrassed as anyone to be associated with Trump, but if it is affecting my property values, I said, why not try?”

[Via The Hollywood Reporter]


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