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Trump Is a Four-Letter Word for Many Manhattan Condo Owners


Trump brand, condo values, petition drives, condo unit-owners.

The toxic words TRUMP PLACE have given way to the "boring number" of the address at 160 Riverside Blvd.

Feb. 20, 2024

Trump is a four-letter word — and a drag on values — for unit-owners in Manhattan condos, while removing the former president's name from the building has provided a reliable boost for values, according to a new analysis reported by The New York Times.

The Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, for example, saw the average price per square foot of its condominiums tumble 49% since 2013, according to Ondel Hylton, the senior director of content and research at CityRealty, a real estate listing website. The plunge was driven not only by protests during Trump's presidency, Hylton adds, but also by the building's age and growing competition from the ultra-luxurious condos on nearby Billionaires’ Row.

By contrast, condominiums in four buildings where the Trump logo was removed at the behest of residents — sometimes after a legal battle — have seen their value shoot back up.“This analysis cleanly identifies that it is the Trump brand that is responsible for the value deterioration,” says Columbia University economist Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, who analyzed data from two real estate tracking firms. “Removing the Trump name from the building removes the loss associated with the name.”

A review of the price per square foot of condominiums in the seven buildings in Manhattan that still carry the Trump name found that the value dropped 23% between 2013 and 2023, according to CityRealty. By contrast, the four buildings that removed the gold-hued Trump logo ended the decade from 2013 to 2023 up 9%, outpacing the Manhattan condominium market, which was up 8% over the same time period.

And now a personal story. Before the 2016 election, Linda Gottlieb, a film producer, didn't think much about the words TRUMP PLACE that hovered above the front door of her high-rise building at 160 Riverside Blvd., which faces the Hudson River on the Upper West Side. But as the 2016 presidential election approached and Trump's crude remarks about women and immigrants dominated the news cycle, Gottlieb began to feel uneasy.

“I was embarrassed,” she says, describing how she felt when she passed building staff born outside the United States. “Every time I looked at them, I thought, how can they be working in a building like that, and how can I not try to do something about it?”

So she helped draft a petition that led to the removal of the Trump name from the facade. Left in place was the building's address, 160.

“Now," Gottlieb says,"I just enjoy the view of the river when I come home. And I think, it’s so nice to be in a building with just a boring number on it.”

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