Surviving White House North

With Trump Tower under lockdown as the president-elect’s headquarters, the luxury real estate corridor is feeling the pain

Jan.January 01, 2017 01:00 PM

Trump Tower

Trump Tower is no stranger to controversy. Completed in 1983, the 664-foot-tall, 58-story building was initially scorned by some for replacing a landmark Art Deco building that was the former home of department store Bonwit Teller. Things only got worse during the demolition process, when exterior sculptures that had been promised to the Metropolitan Museum of Art were destroyed. The New York Times accused Donald Trump TRData LogoTINY of “esthetic vandalism.” Over the years, the black and gold beacon has served as a symbol of Trump’s ambitions and mark on NYC real estate. The building is both his dwelling place and the headquarters for his myriad enterprises. That now includes the biggest role of his life, which will begin on Jan. 20 when he’s set to be sworn in as the country’s commander in chief. In the meantime, Trump Tower has been turned into a heavily secured “White House North.” And once again, its developer has come under attack, this time for creating a traffic nightmare. Although high-end retailers have generally been tight-lipped, they were probably none too pleased when Mayor de Blasio recently told New Yorkers to avoid the area “to the maximum extent possible.” Residents, meanwhile, are considering their options. “People don’t want to live there anymore,” Compass broker Michael A. Kaufman told TRD. “I have spoken to owners who are looking to sell.”


The number of retweets for a recent Twitter post by restaurateur David Chang. The ramen chef complained that the security around Trump Tower was “killing restaurant foot traffic on 56th St.” Chang has three restaurants — Má Pêche, Fuku+, and Milk Bar — within 400 feet of Trump Tower.


The number of undocumented Polish workers who did demolition work during the construction of Trump Tower. In a case that spanned over 15 years, they sued Trump in 1985 for millions in back wages and unpaid pensions. The case was quietly settled in 1999.


The amount Trump paid Tiffany & Co. in 1979 for the flagship store’s air rights, considered a real bargain at the time. A few months later, developer Charles Shaw, who had plans to build a 44-story residential tower above the Museum of Modern Art, paid $17M for the air rights. Thanks to the deal, Trump named his second daughter, Tiffany, after the store.


The number of luxury flagship stores within a quarter mile of Trump Tower. They include Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston, Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Since the tower’s opening, the retail site has commanded among the priciest rents on Fifth Ave., with retail rents as high as $3,000 per square foot. Following the partial closure of 56th St., some businesses reported foot traffic had dropped by as much as 50 percent.


The daily amount Mayor de Blasio has requested from the federal government to help cover the cost of security provided by New York City’s police over the 74-day period Trump will presumably live at the tower until he moves to D.C. The total payout comes to nearly $35M.


The number of karats in the gold finishings of Trump’s penthouse, decorated by the late famed American designer Angelo Donghia. The triplex apartment was valued at $10M when it was built. Today, it is estimated to be worth $100M.


The monthly rent paid by the world’s soccer federation for an apartment that was allegedly used to house FIFA executive Chuck Blazer’s cats. In 2015, Blazer, who lived in an adjoining unit, became a whistleblower who exposed rampant bribery among soccer officials. The tower is also home to soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who purchased an $18.5M unit in 2015.


The number of apartments priced above $1 million when Trump Tower first opened. All told, the building has a total of 263 luxury condos. Trump initially hired a feng shui expert to help with sluggish sales. Today, prices for units range from $2.1M for a one-bedroom unit to $11M for a 2,250 sf two-bedroom.

Related Articles

(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)

Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys

Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio

Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out

Clockwise from right: Hong Kong; Columbo, Sri Lanka; and Zagreb, Croatia (Credit: Wikipedia, iStock)

The best real estate markets on earth over the last decade

Vatican police have been raiding church officials’ offices (Credit: iStock)

Vatican police raid another Holy See official over botched London property deal

Compound CEO Janine Yorio and a Clinton Hill property available to users on Compound

Real estate micro-investing is here

High water levels in Lake Michigan erode a walkway and seawall (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Rising waters are wreaking havoc on the Great Lakes’ real estate

Fredrik Eklund (Credit: Getty Images)

Fredrik Eklund talks LA condos, the mega-luxury market and patience