A judge in New York has decided that residents of Trump Place, which is a condominium building located on Manhattan’s West Side, are allowed to remove the Trump name from their building if enough residents approve it.
The ruling made by Eileen Bransten, a New York Supreme Court Judge, marks a major defeat for the real estate company, the Trump Organization, which argued that taking off the name violates the building’s licensing agreement.
Trump Organization has had to deal with more and more commercial and residential buildings, even several outside the United States, that want to take Trump’s name off their building.
In New York, many other apartment buildings near the Hudson River have done the same. The Trump Soho, which is a condo-hotel that opened with much fanfare a decade ago, is now called the Dominick.
Trump Place hasn’t said that it will for sure change its name, but it wanted the judge to decide that it was allowed to. Most residents who voted in the straw poll said that they favored renaming the building.
After Thursday’s decision, Harry Lipman, the lawyer for the building, didn’t say whether the building’s board would now move forward with a vote, but he did say of the decision, “We’re pleased, obviously.”
Trump Place resident Elizabeth Holub says that she has no complaints regarding the way that the building, which allows residents a beautiful view of the Hudson, is run.
“The reality is, it’s the best-run building. It’s unbelievable. Every member of the staff. There’s no better place in the world to raise a family,” Holub explained.
Still, she wishes that it was named something besides Trump.
“Look, I can’t stand Donald Trump. I’m sorry he’s the president. I don’t support his policies,” she said.
The view is common among residents of Trump buildings all across Manhattan, like the 72-story Trump World Tower, which is on the East Side, close to the United Nations.
“I have to explain to everybody who comes to visit me that I’m sorry about the name on the building, that I live there doesn’t constitute any kind of endorsement,” complained James Tufenkian, who owns a New York carpet firm and lives in Trump World Tower.
The trend to de-Trump buildings is a reflection of political reality: New York is the place that Donald Trump calls home and where he made his fortune, but Trump is distinctly unpopular in most of New York City and he lost the 2016 presidential election to Hillary Clinton in the city by a landslide.
There are indications that his unpopularity is lowering the value of his many properties.
One business official who has deep knowledge about the real estate industry, and who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of losing business, believes there’s no question that Trump apartments are staying on the market much longer than they did before his disastrous presidency.
Even Trump Tower has fewer sales this year than during previous periods in the years 2016 and 2017, he explained.
As the residence of the president, the Trump Tower is guarded heavily by the Secret Service, and people who live there have to deal with intense security measures, and that may have scared some buyers away.
However, there are signs that other Trump buildings in NYC are losing value.
The online brokerage company Zumper has studied the rental prices in Trump buildings. Nathan Tondow, who is managing broker at the company’s New York office, says that in most cases, building with the Trump name now fetch slightly lower rents and stay on the market much longer than they would have two years ago.
“We’ve had rental clients who didn’t want to see buildings because they did have the Trump name on them. And we tried to explain that it is owned by someone else. It’s just the Trump name. And they say, “I know. But walking into that every day just feels wrong.”