Donald Trump

New Jersey, Policy

‘Baby Trump’ blimp is coming to NJ

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, July 17, 2018

donald trump, trump balloon, london

Donald Trump is a big baby and full of hot air. Image courtesy of Michael Reeve via Flickr.

If you followed the protests that accompanied President Donald Trump’s visit to London and Scotland last week, you may have noticed a giant, inflatable, diaper-clad version of the POTUS floating above. Now, thanks to a New Jersey activist and a successful GoFundMe page, the irascible dirigible will be gracing our shores next month, Gothamist reports. The big blimp is headed across the pond and is expected to rise near Trump’s Bedminster, NJ golf club in August.

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Policy

New York City has said no to a $48,000 break President Trump has been receiving on the annual tax bill for his Trump Tower condo after inquiries by the Daily News into his eligibility. The News reports that the city says the president was set to get $48,834.62 knocked off his condo taxes for the tax year beginning July 1 via the city’s condominium abatement, which is available for condo and co-op owners on their primary residence. Tax rules state that only “the dwelling unit in which the owner of the dwelling unit actually resides and maintains a permanent and continuous physical presence” is eligible for the savings, and Trump hasn’t kept a “permanent and continuous physical presence” in the Midtown pad since he moved to the White House in January of 2017.

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Policy, Turtle Bay

Photo of Michael Cohen via Wikimedia; listing photo via Trump International Realty

As President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, faces mounting legal fees, his family is looking to sell three condominium units at a 72-story Trump building in Manhattan. Bloomberg reported Friday that Cohen’s father-in-law Fima Shusterman wants to sell three apartments he owns in Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza. Just two of the units are listed on the Trump International Realty website: a three-bedroom unit, 57B, for $6.7 million and a two-bedroom unit, 42A, for $4.5 million. Not listed but still for sale, the family’s 43rd-floor apartment was purchased in 2003 for $1.85 million, but the current price is not yet known.

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Featured Story

Coney Island, Features, History

Steeplechase Park, Coney Island amusement parks, George Tilyou, historic Coney Island

Steeplechase Park circa 1930-45, via Digital Commonwealth

Steeplechase Park was the first of Coney Island‘s three original amusement parks (in addition to Luna Park and Dreamland) and its longest lasting, operating from 1897 to 1964. It had a Ferris Wheel modeled after that of Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition, a mechanical horse race course (from which the park got its name), scale models of world landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, “Canals of Venice,” the largest ballroom in the state, and the famous Parachute Jump, among other rides and attractions.

After World War II, Coney Island’s popularity began to fade, especially when Robert Moses made it his personal mission to replace the resort area’s amusements with low-income, high-rise residential developments. But ultimately, it was Fred Trump, Donald’s father, who sealed Steeplechase’s fate, going so far as to throw a demolition party when he razed the site in 1966 before it could receive landmark status.

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Midtown, Policy

Photo of Michael Cohen via Wikimedia; image of Trump Park Avenue via Google Earth

Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney for President Donald Trump, has put up his family’s Park Avenue apartment as collateral against a bank loan worth millions of dollars. The bank valued Cohen’s condo, fittingly at Trump Park Avenue in Lenox Hill, for $9 million. The financially troubled lawyer is putting his apartment against $12.8 million in loans he took out for his taxi business in 2014. Cohen secured these loans by New York City taxi medallions, which have dropped in value by 80 percent due to the growth of ride-sharing services, according to Bloomberg.

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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

As he proposes funding cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s subsidized housing programs, President Donald Trump is set to gain millions of dollars from the sale of an affordable housing complex in East New York, best known as Starrett City. Investors, including Trump who owns a 4 percent stake in the development, sold the 46-building complex to two real estate firms for $906 million, ABC News reported Tuesday. Trump is set to profit about $36 million from the sale (an amount which could drop after mortgage costs and transfer taxes). Home to roughly 15,000 residents across 145 acres, Starrett City is the largest federally subsidized housing project in the country.

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Policy, Upper West Side 

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.

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Policy, Upper West Side 

Photo via Nick Normal’s Flickr

In February of 2017, residents of Trump Place at 200 Riverside Boulevard voted to remove “TRUMP” from the condo building’s exterior. Neighboring buildings found at 140, 160, and 180 Riverside Boulevard had already successfully removed his name, following a petition with hundreds of signatures. However, the 48-story condo at Trump Place, located on the Upper West Side, has not moved forward with the removal of the president’s name because the Trump Organization threatened to sue.

In response to this threat, board members in January asked a judge to issue a declaratory judgment that the condo has the right to either keep or remove the letters without violating its licensing agreement. The president’s son, Eric Trump, who serves as a trustee of the organization, promised on Monday to “fight vehemently against rogue individuals” who want to remove the name (h/t West Side Rag).

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Midtown

trump tower, nypd, trump tower security

Via Krystal T’s Flickr

Following back-to-back fatal fires in 1998 at two New York City buildings that lacked working sprinklers, public officials advocated for new regulations requiring sprinklers in all buildings. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration that year pushed for legislation to address the lack of sprinklers in high-rise towers. But real estate developers, including President Donald Trump, fought against the proposals, citing the high expense of retrofitting existing buildings with them, as the Washington Post reported.

After fierce lobbying from developers, including Trump who personally called a dozen council members, the city enacted a law in 1999 that would require sprinklers in new construction but not existing buildings, exempting the president’s Trump Tower. On Saturday, a fire ripped through a 50th-floor apartment at Trump Tower, killing a 67-year-old art dealer. Sprinklers were never installed at the Fifth Avenue property.

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Midtown, Policy

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Vornado

Google Street View of 666 Fifth Avenue

Update 4/9/18: Vornado announced on Friday that it reached a “handshake” deal to sell its stake at 666 Fifth Avenue back to the Kushner Cos, according to the New York Times. It remains unclear if the Kushners have found a new partner. Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado, in the filing, said the payment would cover the company’s investment: “The existing loan will be repaid including payment to us of the portion of the debt we hold.”

Kushner Cos. said this week it is in talks to buy the remaining 49.5 percent stake in 666 Fifth Avenue from Vornado Realty Trust, furthering the drama at the 41-story Midtown Manhattan office building, according to the Wall Street Journal. The tower has remained one of Kushner Cos. most financially troubled projects. In addition to its debt and high rates of vacancy, the building has been mired in controversy, mostly due to Jared Kushner’s role as a senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump. While Jared divested in the property to avoid conflicts of interest, investors have been reluctant from entering a deal with Kushner Cos.

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