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Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

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Another New York Building Seeks to Dump the Trump Brand

Upper East Side

Trump Rename
June 7, 2017

When you’ve had your condo on the market for two years and you’ve chopped the price nearly in half and the thing still won’t sell – well, it might be time to think outside the box. Or outside the building, where a five-letter word over the front door is not improving your prospects of unloading your apartment. That word is T-R-U-M-P, as in Trump Palace, the 277-unit condo building at 200 East 69th Street.

There, a desperate Laurence Weiss, a former Goldman Sachs partner, is circulating a petition in the hope that a two-thirds supermajority of owners will agree to ditch the Trump name – and enhance his chances of selling his 3,600-square-foot penthouse, Curbed reports. Weiss listed it for $15.5 million in April 2015 and is now willing to take $8.9 million. Weiss writes in his appeal to his neighbors, “I understand that for some this is a complicated issue. For me, it's only business. Our homes are worth more without the Trump name.”

Weiss’s predicament is a reminder that during the 2016 presidential campaign, New Yorkers expressed their opinion about a potential Trump presidency through – what else? – real estate. In late 2016, residents of 140, 160, and 180 Riverside Boulevard, formerly known as Trump Place, gathered a two-thirds majority vote to remove the Trump name from the building’s exterior. Equity Residential, who purchased the buildings after they were developed and branded by Trump, explained the removal was to “assume a neutral building identity that appeals to all current and future residents.”

“Where that [Trump] brand used to enhance value, it is now being perceived as a detraction to value,” Michael Vargas of Vanderbilt Appraisal Company told the New York Times. And that was before the election.

When political commentator Keith Olbermann offloaded a condo in Trump Palace in July 2016, he gleefully tweeted: “I'M FREEEEEEEEE! ... I got out with 90% of my money and 100% of my soul!"

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