Donald Trump

Midtown, Policy, Top Stories

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A previous rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

Instead of the 41-story Midtown tower becoming an 80-story office building with hotel rooms and luxury housing, 666 Fifth Avenue will now get a much more simple upgrade. According to Bloomberg, Vornado Realty Trust, the project’s partner alongside Kushner Companies, told brokers the property will remain an office building, with“mundane” renovations planned. As one of the most financially troubled developments for Kushner Cos., the Fifth Ave project has been losing money since its purchase was first coordinated by Jared Kushner, currently a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, in 2007.

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More Top Stories, Policy

Photo via pixabay

Following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement in June, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order that committed New York City to honor the standards of the accord, which is an international negotiation aimed to mitigate climate change worldwide. On Tuesday, de Blasio released an action plan that details ways to lower the city’s carbon footprint, reduce 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2030 and introduce a citywide single-stream recycling program by 2020. New York City is the first metropolitan area to release a Paris Agreement-compatible action plan, according to the report.

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Art, Celebrities

Julien's Auctions, Donald Trump drawing, Donald Trump doodle, Donald Trump Empire State Building

Sketch via Julien’s Auctions; Donald Trump via Wiki Commons

Update 10/20/17: Crain’s reports that Trump’s doodle has sold at auction for $16,000. The buyer has not been named, but a portion of the sale will benefit Connecticut National Public Radio station WHDD-FM.

He may not have had any formal political experience before taking office, but Donald Trump was certainly well versed in doodling. In July, a 2005 charity auction sketch he made of the NYC skyline, which not surprisingly depicts Trump Tower front and center among anonymous buildings, sold at auction for an incredible $29,184. And now, as reported by the Guardian, a similarly elementary sketch he did of the Empire State Building is also headed to auction, where it’s expected to fetch up to $12,000, a portion of which will be donated to National Public Radio (NPR). Interestingly, Trump did the signed drawing in 1995, the year after he began his fraught attempt to take ownership of the landmark building.

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Celebrities, real estate trends, Upper East Side

No one wants to rent Ivanka Trump’s Park Avenue apartment

By Devin Gannon, Wed, September 27, 2017

After months of being on the market, the Manhattan pad of President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump just won’t rent, despite three substantial price chops. The first daughter first purchased the two-bedroom, two bathroom condo at 502 Park Avenue in 2004 for $1.5 million. Upon her father’s election, Ivanka listed the apartment at Trump Park Avenue in November for $15,000 per month. In February, the price dropped to $13,000 per month. On Tuesday, the asking price was $10,450 per month, a 30 percent price cut since the presidential election, according to Bloomberg.

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Celebrities, Midtown, Policy, real estate trends

trump tower, nypd, trump tower security

Photo of Trump Tower courtesy of Krystal T’s Flickr

While this week marks just the third time President Donald Trump has visited New York City since his January inauguration, property taxes he filed after the election designate Trump Tower as his primary residence. As the Real Deal reported, Trump will save $45,000 by calling his penthouse his main home, utilizing a tax credit known as the “coop condo abatement.” The credit can be used by owner-occupied co-ops and condos and takes off 28.1 percent of property taxes for the unit. Because of the tax abatement, the president has saved a little under $200,000 on his taxes over the last five years.

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Celebrities, Jamaica, Policy, Queens

85-15 Wareham Place, Donald Trump, Airbnb

Photo courtesy of Laffey Fine Homes from a previous listing

With President Donald Trump back in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly this week, a group of refugees is staying at the president’s childhood home, renting the Queens property through Airbnb. The Jamacia Estates home at 85-15 Wareham Place is being rented by Oxfam, an anti-poverty organization, to bring attention to the refugee crisis (h/t NY Post). The group invited four refugees to talk with journalists at the rental, highlighting their concern with Trump’s travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees that was introduced in January. After facing multiple legal challenges, the Supreme Court allowed the refugee policy to remain temporarily, but justices will hear arguments about the travel ban on Oct. 10.

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Major Developments, Midtown East, Policy, real estate trends, Top Stories

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

In 2007, Kushner Companies purchased a 41-story tower in Midtown for $1.8 billion, which was the most expensive real estate deal ever in the U.S. at the time. The transaction of 666 Fifth Avenue, coordinated by Jared Kushner, now a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, was ill-timed, making the purchase just before the economic recession. As the Washington Post reported, the Fifth Avenue project is one of the most financially troubled for Kushner Cos., with one-fourth of office space empty, and its lease revenue not covering monthly interest payments. While Kushner has divested his stake in the property to avoid conflicts of interest, the property’s value has dropped and foreign entities have withdrawn financial support. Currently, Kushner’s dealings are under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, as part of the broader investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

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Policy, Transportation

gateway program, hudson river tunnel, amtrak

The path for a future Hudson River tunnel is being preserved at Hudson Yards, photo via Amtrak

Even though the U.S. Department of Transportation withdrew in July from the board that oversees the Gateway Program, President Trump is keeping an open-mind about the nearly $30 billion project that would add a second rail beneath the Hudson River. According to the Daily News, during a meeting at the White House between New York and New Jersey elected officials and the Trump administration, the president showed interest in the project and appeared to support having the federal government pay for half of the cost. The new train tunnel under the Hudson would provide a critical link between NJ and Penn Station.

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Policy

trump state park, president trump

Photo via Wikimedia

Assembly Member Nily Rozic, a Democrat who represents Queens, is expected to introduce a bill that would change the name of a state park named after President Donald Trump. Rozic’s bill would rename the park to honor Heather Heyer, the woman killed last month by a white supremacist in Charlottesville. As BuzzFeed first reported, a similar push was made in both houses of the state legislature and from local members of Congress in 2015 and 2016. Trump donated the 436 acres of land to New York State in 2006 on the condition his name be “prominently displayed.”

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affordable housing, Brooklyn, East New York, Policy

starrett city, donald trump, president trump

Starrett City photo via Matt Green on Flickr, President Trump photo via Wikimedia

The owners of Starrett City, the largest federally subsidized housing project in the country, recently announced they found a buyer for the $850 million Brooklyn development. Located in East New York, Starrett City sits on 145 acres and includes 5,881 affordable apartments for 15,000 residents. As the New York Times reported, President Donald Trump partially owns the housing development and will benefit from the sale of the property. Since the sale requires federal approval from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and state officials, this puts the president on both sides of the agreement, creating a potential conflict of interest for him.

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