City scores all of $10K in fracas over Trump Tower lobby

Presidential candidate fined for overusing lobby for his campaign

TRD New York /
August 18, 2016 12:00 AM

Donald Trump’s pesky problem with the city over how his campaign has been using the public lobby of Trump Tower ended with a slap on the wrists Wednesday for the GOP presidential candidate.

City officials fined the Trump Organization $10,000 after the campaign used the lobby of the tower too many times for press conferences, Crain’s reported. In a 1979 deal with the city, Trump agreed to create a 15,000 square-foot public lobby at his Midtown tower in exchange for rights to add 210,000 square feet to the development. Terms of that deal permit him to close the lobby up to four times a year.

Not only has Trump exceed that number, he used the lobby to launch his presidential campaign and has hosted numerous events and press conferences there.

Although $10,000 is no great amount, it’s not the first time the city has fined the developer for using the lobby to his benefit.

Earlier this year, a 22-foot stone bench became a flashpoint between Trump and the city, after the bench mysteriously disappeared, only to be replaced by a 40-foot counter selling Trump-branded swag. That prompted city officials launched an investigation into use of the lobby for Trump’s campaign.  The Trump Organization was later fined $10,000 for the bench’s removal, and $4,000 for the installation of the campaign kiosk. Last month, workers replaced the bench.

Trump Tower is worth $600 million, according to a recent Bloomberg analysis of Trump’s net worth. The property skyrocketed in value (from a prior estimated worth of $490 million) thanks to increased rent revenue from its largest tenant, Gucci. Trump also owns a $90 million penthouse in the building, as well as 27 commercial floors.

In 2012, Trump took out a $100 million mortgage on the building. He took $73 million as a cash distribution and used $27 million to replace an existing loan. [Crain’s]E.B. Solomont

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