Donald Trump has at least one dependable tenant at Trump Tower in New York City: a Trump PAC.
As other tenants have racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in arrears at the 75-percent occupied Midtown Manhattan building during the pandemic, the Make America Great Again PAC has reliably paid over $37,500 per month to lease office space on its 15th floor since March, according to the Washington Post.
Rent isn’t the only payment the PAC is making at the building. It also paid $3,000 a month “for several months” to rent a retail kiosk in the lobby, despite the lobby being closed, the Post reported.
The payments may not be illegal in the loosely regulated world of super PACs, but they are drawing scrutiny.
“He’s running a con,” Paul S. Ryan, of the watchdog group Common Cause, told the Post. “Talking about political expenses — but, in reality, raising money for self-enrichment.”
The PAC is paying $85 per square foot annually on the office space, in line with typical midtown Manhattan rates, Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington told the Post. Prior to the PAC’s occupation, the 5,490-square-foot space was leased by Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, though it was not used as its main headquarters. Other office space on the floor is vacant.
Not many people appear to be working out of the office. The space can accommodate around 30 people, but a filing from the PAC lists only three employees who work there, all of whom often work from home or from Trump’s residences in Florida and New Jersey, a source told the Post.
The Trump Organization occupies two floors in Trump Tower. Another 12 are available to lease. The commercial spaces were 75 percent occupied during the first quarter, the building’s lowest occupancy rate in eight years.
Many retailers have left the building in recent years, though Gucci renewed its lease beyond 2026 in February in exchange for a rent reduction. Other tenants, such as a company that once manufactured Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, have wound up in court over unpaid rent at the 58-story tower.
[WaPo] — Holden Walter-Warner