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.
Congress budget deal will reimburse NYC for Trump Tower security in ‘protection package’ split with Florida, Tue, May 2, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.