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.
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.
Reserving three of 5th Avenue’s five traffic lanes for pedestrians will ease the traffic paralysis that President-elect Donald Trump‘s continued residence in his 56th Street tower has caused, former NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan argues. In an op-ed for the New York Times yesterday Sadik-Khan, a principal with Bloomberg Associates and a key player in the introduction of the Times Square Pedestrian Plaza, angled 5th Avenue’s traffic problem as a bipartisan issue that requires change to get better. With the President-elect saying he plans on visiting his Manhattan home frequently even once he has moved to the White House, it is clear New York will need to adapt or risk forever needing to budget an extra three hours to get through Midtown.
Yesterday afternoon, after a suspicious package was found in the building atrium, Trump Tower was evacuated along with the entire area between 50th and 59th Streets and Madison and 6th Avenues. Ultimately, it was found to be a bag of children’s toys left behind, but in a tweet after the incident, de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said such evacuations at the Tower “will be a common occurrence.” According to the Daily News, Trump spokesman Dan Scavino sent out a thank you tweet, to which Phillips replied, “No problem. We’ll send you the bill.”
Just over a week ago, Mayor de Blasio asked the federal government for $35 million to cover Donald Trump‘s increased security for the 73 days from the November 8th election to the January 20th inauguration. Two days later, congress came back with a low-ball offer of only $7 million, to which the Mayor responded that “NYC taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill to protect Trump Tower.” Backing him up, the NYPD conducted its own analysis, which, as the Daily News shares, confirms the city’s $500,000 a day security bill and concludes that nearly 200 cops are needed each day to secure the area around Trump Tower.
Just two days after Mayor de Blasio formally requested $35 million in federal funding to cover security at Trump Tower for the 73 days from the November 8th election to inauguration day on January 20th, republicans in Congress decided to earmark a mere $7 million towards protecting the President Elect while he’s in the Big Apple. Of the pending decision, the Mayor said, “NYC taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill to protect Trump Tower. DC must step up to pay us back what we’re owed,” reports the Post.
Police presence around Trump Tower, via latecapitalism/Instagram
White House North, Dump Tower–call it what you will, but Trump Tower has been causing a major headache for the city ever since the President Elect announced that he hopes to spend weekends in his penthouse at the Midtown tower and that wife Melania and son Barron will continue to reside there during his presidency. Initial estimates put the cost of protecting the building at $1 million a day, but after City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Dan Garodnick launched a petition last week demanding that the federal government cover these costs, Mayor de Blasio has officially asked for a total of “$35 million to cover the 73 days stretching from the election on Nov. 8 to Jan. 20, inauguration day,” reports the Post, a lesser amount of roughly $480,000 a day.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Dan Garodnick won’t have New York City shafted with the bill for “White House North.” The pair have launched a petition demanding that the federal government pony up whatever cash is needed to keep Trump Tower secure during the president-elect’s term of office. As 6sqft previously reported, Trump hopes to spend weekends and even some weeknights at the Midtown tower over the next four years, particularly as wife Melania will stay put until son Barron finishes school—and more simply because Trump likes waking up in his own bed. It has been estimated that turning Trump Tower into a 24/7 armed fortress will cost New York City taxpayers $1 million a day, and the total bill over the president-elect’s four-year term could swell beyond $1 billion.
Plans are underway to turn what the New York Times calls “White House North” into an armed bunker as the president-elect’s family defers D.C.. As 6sqft reported last week, Donald Trump has said he’d like his family to remain in Trump Tower, though the gilded Fifth Avenue fortress that Trump, wife Melania and son Barron call home is particularly difficult to secure. The round-the-clock protection the family has been receiving from the NYPD has come at a cost to the city of over $1 million a day. Now, the New York Post reports that the Secret Service is in talks with the Trump Organization over plans to occupy two floors of the 68-story tower. It’s standard policy for the federal agency to provide full protection for every president at their various homes–it cost around $2 million a year for the U.S. Coast Guard to protect George H. W. Bush’s estate in Kennebunkport, Maine during his presidency, for example. But in this instance taxpayers would be paying the incoming president’s own company for the space in a lease deal which could cost more than $3 million a year.
Between swarms of protestors outside the building and Donald Trump‘s claims that he’ll spend weekends at his penthouse, the NYPD has spent the last week mulling a shutdown of Fifth Avenue in and around Trump Tower. And even though Melania and ten-year-old Barron will remain in the 24-karat gold-covered triplex instead of moving to the White House, Mayor de Blasio announced that the stretch of the Avenue in front of the building will remain open to vehicular traffic, adding that, “We have never had a situation where the president of the United States would be here on such a regular basis. But the N.Y.P.D. is up to the challenge, and the City of New York is up to the challenge.”
Donald Trump has already made it clear that he hopes to ditch convention and spend weekends in his Trump Tower penthouse during his presidency (despite the unprecedented traffic snarls and security issues it’ll cause). In addition to sleeping in his own bed, this will allow him to work out of his personal office. The 26th floor space is covered in awards, sports memorabilia, family photos, and an unsurprisingly narcissistic collection of magazines with yours truly on the cover. Business Insider uncovered two videos from last year–one from the Washington Post, one from the Wall Street Journal–where Trump provided tours of the office, and it looks like our next president may be working on international politics with one of Shaquille O’Neal’s sneakers sitting next to him.
If you thought it was inconvenient whenever President Obama came to town, under a Trump presidency, things are going to get much worse. The Daily News reports that law enforcement officials are mulling a shutdown of 5th Avenue whenever the president-elect decides to stay in his penthouse in Trump Tower. As many know, the area is one of the busiest commercial hubs in the Manhattan, a mix of mid- and high-end retailers, paying top rents and pulling in millions of tourists annually. Moreover, it is also home to thousands of New Yorkers, a handful of which who live in Trump Tower and are already fed up with the disturbances that have emerged as of late. Immediately after the 2016 election results were announced, Trump Tower was swarmed by protestors—and guards wielding heavy ammunition.
Interior image Refinery29
It appears that Donald Trump missed the memo that being President is a round-the-clock job, not a 9-5 gig. As the Times reports, the president-elect has been asking aides how many nights he’ll have to pass in D.C., and whether or not he’ll be able to stay in his 5th Avenue penthouse on weekends. “He has told them he would like to do what he is used to, which is spending time in New York when he can,” writes the paper. During the campaign, Trump would often forgo local hotels, opting instead to fly to NYC late at night just so he could sleep in his own bed.
Image by __shih_cc via Instagram
Since Donald Trump announced his run for office, Trump Tower, where the President-elect both lives and keeps his political headquarters, has been a hotspot for protestors. While in the past few months, inconveniences haven’t escalated far beyond anti-Trumpers stopping by to give the building the finger, after the 2016 election results were announced, it’s become veritable zoo outside the 5th Avenue tower as thousands have convened to denounce (and to be sure, support) a Trump presidency. The situation has become a major disruption for residents of the luxury skyscraper who are now annoyed with the crowds. As The Post so fittingly writes, “It’s not so easy being a member of the 1 percent if you live at Trump Tower.”
Image via Rachel Maddow Blog on twitter
Demonstrations broke out across the country yesterday evening as hundreds of thousands gathered to protest the election of Donald Trump for president. NYC itself was largely activated by two groups, Socialist Alternative and Answer Coalition, who used social media to call upon New Yorkers to gather at Union Square and Columbus Circle, near Trump International Tower. Thousands of participants held signs emblazoned with a swath of issues now under threat, from LGBT to Black Lives Matter to the environment. Chants like “Not my president!” “Trump Makes America Hate” and “Don’t Lose Hope” rang through the streets as protestors marched through Midtown to convene at Trump Tower. Among the crowds, however, were also Trump supporters who showed up to celebrate the victory.
This “yuge” Trump Tower penthouse hit the market back in October 2015, but its $23 million price tag and location just a few floors below Donald Trump‘s personal residence have apparently not been the biggest selling points. As 6sqft previously noted, the sprawling (albeit gaudy) condo was once owned by the Donald himself, back when his parents lived there and when he reportedly rented it out for $110,000 a month to buddy Michael Jackson and then-wife Lisa Marie Presley. But if you’re still itching to be neighbors with the presidential candidate, it’s not too late.
If you’ve followed Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump‘s gold-plated real estate career, you might already know how much of his success has been due to his family’s extensive political connections–and generous tax breaks, grants and incentives from the government and taxpayers. In case you haven’t read Trump’s 1987 bestseller “The Art of the Deal,” the New York Times illuminates the role that hundreds of millions in tax breaks have played in the Trump empire. While Trump may not be much different from other developers in seeking tax breaks, the candidate vociferously paints a picture of a rigged system and a fixed game. But these very fixes have enabled him to achieve a net worth estimated at 4.5 billion and the opportunity to indulge a run for the nation’s highest office.
Now that he’s finally raking in funds from donors as opposed to cheaply self-funding his own campaign, Donald Trump is loosening the purse strings. The first order of business comes at his very own Trump Tower campaign headquarters, where he’s nearly quintupled the monthly rent. According to a Huffington Post review of Federal Election Commission filings, his campaign was paying $35,458 a month from last summer until up March. But in July, when the donations started coming in, that skyrocketed to $169,758. This came with a reduction of paid employees and consultants, from 197 to 172.
All anti-Trumpers, mark your calendars for August 30th, as this is the day that a determined group of opponents plans to build a quarter-million pound, 200-foot-long sandbag wall across from Trump Tower. Designers David Haggerty and James Cazzoli have already received permits from the Central Park Conservancy (the wall will go up at West 59th Street and Avenue of the Americas, four blocks from Trump Tower and three blocks from the Trump International Hotel) and they’ve now launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign called “Wall in Trump” to raise the $60,000 it’ll take to make this vision a reality.
In light of his media-circus presidential campaign, there seems to be endless exposes about Donald Trump’s past real estate drama. From his failed attempt to own the Empire State Building to a lost battle with China over two bi-coastal skyscrapers, the Donald’s development empire has very often skirted the rules. The latest saga dates back to 1979, when, as Crain’s uncovers, Trump struck a deal with the city for a zoning variance to build an extra 200,000 square feet, or 20 stories, at Trump Tower. In return, he agreed to create a public atrium, as well as 15,000 square feet of public gardens. But these gardens, which yielded almost all of the 244,000 square feet of office and residential space that Trump still owns in the tower (worth roughly $530 million), are hidden, hard to access, and not maintained.