In the 1980s, well before the great herpes outbreak at Coachella, Trump Tower was the place to be. Many superstars that your parents enjoyed watching on fatback TVs once graced the space, including Michael Jackson, Johnny Carson and Steven Spielberg.
Now, Trump Tower, much like the Trump presidency, is trash—high-priced trash but still trash.
According to Bloomberg, the 36-year-old building has become one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan since Donald Trump took office. Trump Tower has become a damn impenetrable fortress (unless you have a fire-breathing dragon being driven by a mad woman) “ringed with concrete barriers and the two main entrances partially blocked off.” Also, the building hasn’t been updated in a long while so the place still looks like a solid gold bar had sex with a Z Gallerie. And because people who believe that sugar should never be anywhere near grits don’t care for Trump’s tower or Russian prostitute urine, they have shunned the building and all the inhabitants in it.
“For anyone who owns a unit in the tower, the past two years have been brutal. Most condo sales have led to a loss after adjusting for inflation,” according to property records viewed by Bloomberg. “Several sold at more than a 20 percent loss. By contrast, across Manhattan, just 0.23 percent of homes over the past two years sold at a loss.”
Bloomberg notes that not all of the president’s properties are failing; his hotel in Washington, D.C., is thriving and that’s possibly because it opened right before Russia handed the presidency to Trump, and people hoping to court the president tend to stay at his D.C. hotel. In New York, though, several Trump-branded buildings have had to ditch the name because the president’s name is mud.
Trump is scheduled to provide an updated snapshot of his net worth this week, with his annual financial disclosures due Wednesday. The documents won’t go into detail about the Trump Organization’s revenues, but it’s clear that Trump Tower is suffering, based on securities filings, property records, real estate listings, and interviews with industry insiders.
The commercial portion of the building has been struggling for months to find tenants for more than 42,000 square feet of vacant office space, despite advertising rents well below the area’s average, listings and data from real estate brokers show.
On any given midweek afternoon, the number of government and Trump Organization security personnel rivaled the number of other people inside the building’s atrium.
Bloomberg points to several reasons the building has become a shithole. The first is that the occupancy rate plunged “over the last seven years to 83 percent from 99 percent, giving it a vacancy rate that’s about twice Manhattan’s average.” Office prices in Trump Tower have become negotiable, which is unheard of for Manhattan property where offices can easily fetch $100 per square foot.
Even folks that love the president and hope to run into him in the lobby to have their very own Home Alone 2 moment have been disappointed. While Trump ran his campaign out of the building, he’s only visited some 13 times since becoming president, according to a count kept by NBC News. In fact, the building has become more known for the infamous Russia meeting that took place in the Tower.
Only 57 places in Manhattan have sold at a loss in the past two years and 13 of those were sales in Trump Tower, Bloomberg notes. People want out of that gaudy shithole so much so that they are willing to take a loss just to have peace of mind.
Did I mention the 60-foot-tall waterfall? Yeah, there is a 60-foot waterfall that is a goddamn tourist trap. At different times, Bloomberg reports, there were more cops and tourists in the lobby than actual residents.
“Any of the buildings that have been really successful in Midtown are either newer class or the landlords have spent considerable capital to make them more modern and have more amenities,” Louis D’Avanzo, managing principal of Cushman & Wakefield Plc’s Midtown Manhattan office, told Bloomberg.
Trump hasn’t spent much money updating Trump Tower in recent years, according to disclosures to investors.
“I don’t think I would want an office in Trump Tower,” Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization executive who oversaw the building’s construction, told Bloomberg. “Why would you go there? It’s a wonder he doesn’t have 50 percent vacancy.”