Six weeks after President Trump derided a potential NYC sea wall on Twitter, his administration abruptly ended the study that was looking into the idea. Launched in 2017, the NY & NJ Harbor and Tributaries feasibility study was evaluating five measures that could “address severe coastal storm risks” and the sea wall was one of them. On Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that the critical study had been shelved due to a lack of funding and a report that was due to come out this summer would be “indefinitely postponed,” the New York Times reported. The curious timing relative to Trump’s tweet has led many to speculate about the political underpinnings behind the decision. “This is dangerous,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “It’s another of Donald Trump’s blatant political hits on New York City.”
Rendering courtesy of Susan T. Rodriguez Architecture | Design and the Central Park Conservancy
The $150 million plan to build a new pool and ice rink at the northern end of Central Park is facing backlash from local swimmers and skaters. Last September, the Central Park Conservancy revealed a project to replace the aging Lasker Rink and Pool and create space for year-round recreation. But a group of hockey players and swimmers is asking the conservancy to revise its plan, which they claim would reduce the space they can use, eliminating some of the programs offered.
Flooded Battery Park Tunnel after Hurricane Sandy. Image: Timothy Krause via Flickr.
A barrier wall proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers as one of several options being evaluated to shield the New York area from rare storms–which may well become less rare and more destructive with global warming–is the subject of a heated debate among planners and environmental experts. Supporters suggest that a barrier be constructed in the outer New York Harbor where it’s mostly hidden from view, saying it would go the farthest in protecting people, land and valuable landmarks along the waterfront from a storm surge. Others fear the idea is a short-sighted measure that doesn’t address major climate threats–and could even worsen matters by trapping sewage and toxins during flooding from high tides and storm runoff. President Donald Trump, however, remains the sole proponent of the mop-and-bucket approach, as the New York Daily News reports.
In November, 6sqft shared data that showed sales at Trump Tower were still in a post-2016 slump, but year-end figures show that the decline is a larger trend across Trump-branded buildings in NYC. According to CityRealty’s annual Manhattan Year-End Report, “In the third full year of Donald Trump’s presidency, the average sales price for the 11 Trump-branded condos in Manhattan once again fell below the Manhattan condo average.”
Manhattan Councilman Mark Levine introduced a resolution on Thursday urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to terminate the Trump Organization’s ongoing contracts with the city, the Daily News reports. The president’s company has four contracts with the Parks Department to operate the Lasker and Wollman Skating Rinks in Central Park, the Central Park Carousel, and the Trump Golf Links in the Bronx. Levine—who issued similar demands in 2018 and 2015—argued that the contracts violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and that Trump’s association with the venues is causing the city to lose money.
Image courtesy of Paramount Realty USA
The boyhood Queens home of President Donald Trump was slated for an auction this month after failing once again to secure a buyer. But the auction, scheduled for November 14, never happened as no qualified bids came forward, the New York Post reported. Most recently listed for $2.9 million, the five-bedroom Tudor-style home at 85-15 Wareham Place has been on the market three times since 2016, with a short stint on the rental market.
Living under the shadow of having President Trump as an occasional neighbor–and as a sign on the front of your building–doesn’t do much for condo property values in midtown Manhattan, if commercial leasing and residential sales at Trump Tower are any indication. CityRealty reports that vacancies persist in the commercial podium of 721 Fifth Avenue, and residential condo sales in the mixed-use tower have yet to recover from recent stagnation: Almost one half of the units up for sale have cut their initial asking prices, and all but two of the 11 condos whose sales closed this year have sold at an often-considerable–more than 10 percent–discount.
As New York City’s many ice skating rinks start to open this month for the season, two Central Park arenas will debut a slightly updated look. The Trump Organization has removed President Donald Trump’s name from Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink, marking the first time the business has voluntarily distanced itself from its owner, according to the Washington Post. City officials told the newspaper that the president’s company informed them about the plan to remove the signage this past summer but provided no reason behind the change.
Images courtesy of Paramount Realty USA
President Donald Trump’s boyhood home in Jamacia Estates is headed to auction after spending 19 days on the market last February for $2.9 million, the New York Times reports. The home is no longer owned by Trump or his organization; the current owner bought the property in 2017 for $2.14 million anonymously via Trump Birth House LLC. The unassuming five-bedroom Tudor has since been used as an Airbnb rental, and it was briefly rented by refugees via anti-poverty organization Oxfam to bring attention to the refugee crisis during the 2017 UN General Assembly.
The condo board of the glass tower at One Central Park West on Tuesday voted unanimously to retain the Trump name on the signage at the front of the building, the New York Post reports. However, the word “tower” will be removed from the marquee over the front entrance, to be replaced with the building’s address. As 6sqft previously reported, as part of a larger renovation of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Columbus Circle, the Trump Organization was reconsidering its heavily-branded signage, and some building owners say Trump’s polarizing presidency is depreciating the value of their investments.