Donald Trump’s 2005 Manhattan skyline sketch with Trump Tower in the center. (Nate D. Sanders Auctions)
Update 7/28/17: Artnet reports that Trump’s doodle has sold at auction for $29,184. “It’s a piece of art from a U.S. President, so it’s attracted interest from not just Trump followers, but also presidential memorabilia collectors,” Michael Kirk of Nate D. Sanders auctioneers told the art site. “It’s received a lot of global press, so the interest level has been high. The piece has received some five times more than our normal auction traffic.”
A charity auction sketch made by future president Donald Trump in 2005 will be headed for the auction block once again, according to the Washington Post. The drawing shows the artist’s rendition of the Manhattan skyline with Trump Tower anchoring the center spot in a crowd of anonymous buildings.
What’s the starting bid?
While the state’s updated anti-Airbnb bill has now been in effect for three months, the city has issued fines on just 139 illegal listings, out of the nearly 24,000 that reportedly need to be investigated. The recently enacted legislation builds on the state’s 2010 law that makes it illegal to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days without the owner present. The new law goes further by making it illegal to advertise these short-term rentals through websites like Airbnb. As Crain’s explains, based on the number of listings on the company’s website, it would take the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement nearly 43 years to investigate all of them.
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Congress agreed to a budget deal Sunday night that allocates money to pay New York City back for funds spent on protecting Trump Tower, reports the New York Daily News. The bipartisan agreement creates a $68 million “protection package,” which will reportedly be split with Florida, where Trump’s Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago mansion serves as his vacation home.
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With a federal budget proposal that strips significant funding to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s not so shocking that President Trump and his son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, both own buildings that rank as the least energy-efficient in New York City. The Daily News shared a new report from ALIGN, a coalition of labor and environmental activists, which found that Trump Tower uses more energy than 93 percent of the city’s large residential buildings. Worse, the Trump Organization’s Mayfair condo uses more than 98 percent. The report also revealed that a Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue (controversial for even more reasons as of late) uses more energy than 85 percent of large office buildings.
See the report here
While the President has yet to visit Trump Tower since his inauguration, the price of protecting the First Lady and 10-year-old Barron costs the city an average of $136,000 per day, according to the NYPD. Congress offered only $7 million to reimburse the city for the $24 million the police department said they have spent protecting the building between the period of Trump’s election and his inauguration. However, as Crain’s learned, that payment is not guaranteed, and NYC may have to compete with New Jersey and Florida, both places the president frequents, for the money.
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As a symbol of resistance to the Trump administration, Chelsea-based contemporary art gallery BravinLee created a Kickstarter to raise $10,000 for an inflatable, 15-foot rat sporting a comb-over and an ill-fitting suit (complete with an inflatable piece of scotch tape to ensure his tie won’t blow in the wind) that will be placed outside Trump Tower. As the A.V. Club learned, artist Jeffrey Beebe was inspired by Scabby the Rat, the inflatable rat that attends union strikes to signal unfair and unsafe practices by management. With the deadline to fund “Trumpy the Rat” set for April 19, the project has raked in just over $5,500.
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Although the President has not visited Trump Tower since his inauguration, the NYPD plans on increasing the number of officers who guard the tower after struggling with ways to effectively man the building. As reported by TMZ, the police department will choose between 30 and 40 full-time officers with “solid records” to work 12-hour shifts at the skyscraper.
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Screenshot of the listing before it was taken down, via NYT
Not even a $500,000 a day security bill or threat of frequent evacuations could stop Airbnb from infiltrating Trump Tower. The Times found a listing on the rental site for an apartment in the Midtown fortress that had been available since at least September until they last week contacted Airbnb, at which time it was taken down. The $300-$450 a night rental didn’t explicitly state the address but was described as “the most secure and unique building” and asked that potential renters be “politically neutral” and not engage in political displays within the building. Despite these strange stipulations and the added nuisance of protestors and having to go through a Secret Service screening, the apartment is booked for most of the next few months, reviews are surprisingly positive, and it has a five-star rating.
But how did this all get past the secret service?
The line separating Trump’s personal business interests and his role as President of the United States continues to blur, as the Washington Post reports today that the Pentagon may lease “a limited amount of space” in Trump Tower. In doing so, the U.S. Defense Department says it will be able to better protect Trump’s family, as Melania and Barron have decided to remain in the couple’s gilded Trump Tower penthouse, and Donald himself when he is town. The move, however, has one major and obvious sticking point: rent on the space would need to be paid to the Trump Organization—and taxpayer dollars would be used to foot the bill.
more details here
President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to remain in his Manhattan HQ is causing concern among businesses in the area. Business leaders and local officials spoke out Tuesday at a City Council hearing on the threat that blocked sidewalks and traffic snarls are posing to jobs, tax revenues, tourist appeal and “global reputation,” reports Crain’s. Local merchants claim they’ve taken a significant hit, and that many are considering not renewing their leases or moving elsewhere. Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District president Tom Cusack estimated that local businesses have lost $40 million in revenue since Election Day due to the security maze that the area surrounding Trump Tower has become.
Business leaders call for ‘extraordinary action’