Condo owners vote to strip Trump name from building

Frederick Owens
October 21, 2018

The board estimates it will cost $23,000 to remove the 20 letters from the building and wash the facade. Because President Trump isn't broadly popular in Manhattan, by early past year hundreds of residents wanted his name removed from the property.

While the tower's legal name will not be affected, the building will now be known as 200 Riverside Boulevard instead of Trump Place. And so few things are more galling to many residents of a residential complex there than the big letters that greet them at their building: T-R-U-M-P P-L-A-C-E. The others included three other "Trump Place" buildings in the same complex in NY, plus hotels in Toronto, Panama, and the SoHo neighborhood of NY. The judge concluded that the decision should be made by the building's condo owners, adding, "the court does not find any of defendant's arguments convincing". She said the licensing agreement gives 200 Riverside the right but not the obligation to call itself Trump Place.

Eric Chung, a longtime resident whose family owns two units in the building, told The Times that removing the letters "makes a very powerful statement".

Another posted: 'Arguably, at one time the Trump name may have contributed something to the value of our apartments'.

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The fight over the signs at 200 Riverside Boulevard began early past year, after some residents complained about the building's association with Trump - and declining apartment values.

A judge ruled in May the Trump Organization was wrong in claiming residents were obliged by contract to keep the name. Trump lawyers said the board lacked standing because not all directors voted and commercial tenants were not consulted. The condo board responded by suing the Trump Organization.

While you might think the decision was purely an issue of personal politics, the Times offers another reason for the removal: "Trump apartments in 2017 sold for an average of $1,741 per square foot in Manhattan, or 6.6 percent less than the average Manhattan condominium, according to CityRealty, an online apartment broker".

"Branding your business is a double-edge sword", said Daniel Neiditch, president of River 2 River Realty in NY.

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