Trump Org’s sweet deal in Turtle Bay approved by judge 

Condo owners will pay for $1.75 renovation, $190K annual rent

Trump Org’s Cozy Deal At Turtle Bay Condos OKed By Judge
The Trump Organization’s Eric Trump and Compass' Johanna Beiter with 845 United Nations Plaza (The Trump Organization, Compass, Google Maps, Getty)

Apartment owners at Trump World Tower who opposed leasing the Trump Organization’s commercial unit there suffered a loss in court Friday.

A Manhattan judge ruled that the sponsor of the Turtle Bay building, a company affiliated with the Trump Organization, can renovate the 2,500-square-foot space it owns and bill the $1.75 million construction cost to the condo board, which will also pay $190,000 in annual rent.

The space used to be a bar, but will be turned into amenity space for building residents.

The arrangement infuriated Johanna Beiter, a Compass agent who resides and sells apartments in the building. She sued the condo board and the Trump affiliate in May. The judge called her arguments “clever” but ultimately allowed the project to proceed, albeit with some harsh words for the condo board.

“The board may not have made the wisest decision” in leasing rather than buying the unit, the judge wrote, because at the end of the lease, all improvements paid for by unit owners will become the property of the Trump Org affiliate.

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The renovation at 845 United Nations Plaza will “bring the building more fully into the 21st century,” the judge ruled, and benefit residents by hosting exclusive amenities such as a bar, a kitchen for room service, a lounge area and space for “high end appointments.”

Not everything about the agreement was to the court’s liking, however.

Originally, the board said it would pay for the lease by levying fees only against apartment owners who rented out their units. That provision was struck down, however, because condo owners must be assessed fees proportional to their ownership.

Beiter had alleged that the agreement between the condo board and the Trump affiliate that manages the building was a sweetheart, inside deal. The lease agreement was signed by the only two board members appointed by management: Eric Trump and Sonja Talesnik, an attorney and property manager at the Trump Organization.

Beiter and her attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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