Trump presidency is not helping business at Trump Tower

Flagship property sees weak demand in both residential and office portions
May 14, 2019 10:45AM

Trump Tower at 721 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

Trump Tower at 721 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

With most recent condominium sales going for a loss, and with an office vacancy rate twice the Manhattan average, the last few years have not been kind to business at Trump Tower.

Enhanced security measures introduced since the beginning of Trump’s presidency, as well as a lack of substantial upgrades and the Trump name itself, have combined to make the Trump Organization’s crown jewel one of Manhattan’s least desirable luxury properties, Bloomberg reported.

“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 the outlet. “Why would you go there? It’s a wonder he doesn’t have 50 percent vacancy.”

Trump Tower’s occupancy rate currently stands at 83 percent, down from 99 percent seven years ago. The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, formerly the fourth-largest tenant, recently moved the bulk of its operations out of the building amid concerns over a possible conflict of interest.

The property’s net income nonetheless got a boost last year thanks to Trump’s 2020 campaign committee, which has paid more than $890,000 in rent over the last two years.

And in the residential portion of the building, at least 13 condos in Trump Tower have sold since 2016, a majority of which went for a loss after adjusting for inflation.

“The luxury market is softening,” Brown Harris Stevens broker Matthew Hughes, told Bloomberg. “But it’s rare that someone owns an apartment here for 10 years and takes a loss.”

President Trump’s annual financial disclosures are due Wednesday, though they won’t describe the Trump Organization’s revenues in detail. [Bloomberg] Kevin Sun