What's in a name? Apparently a lot in the case of the tower bearing US President Donald Trump's name in New York City, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Trump Tower, a building heralded by People Magazine as "commensurately lavish" and a hotspot for "oil-rich Arabs" and "moneyed Europeans" such as the Rothschilds in its early days, has been struggling to retain property owners in recent years, despite being located in the densely-packed New York City borough of Manhattan.
Bloomberg reports the tower's occupancy rate has plummeted from 99% to 83% in just seven years — a rate of vacancy two times higher than the Manhattan average.
Though the history of Trump Tower residents includes the likes of Johnny Carson, Steven Spielberg, Lisa Marie Presley and even Michael Jackson, the property and former set of Trump's hit reality show "The Apprentice" has more recently been regarded as the setting for the Trump 2016 presidential campaign team's meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.
"No one wants in that building," Michael Sklar, a former condo owner, told Bloomberg. "The name on the building became a problem."
New York City property records show at least 13 Trump Tower condos have sold since the 2016 presidential election. Bloomberg notes several of the units have sold at losses of 20% or more. Additionally, building renovations have been virtually non-existent in recent years.
It's not just housing that's getting worse for the luxury skyscraper, as retail occupancy is also struggling. Not even six months after a Trump Organization advertisement gained little traction on YouTube, offices originally listed for $72 to $85 per square foot are now being advertised as "negotiable."
"I don't think I would want an office in Trump Tower," former Trump Organization executive Barbara Res, who oversaw the tower's construction, explained to Bloomberg. "Why would you go there? It's a wonder he doesn't have 50% vacancy."
Even those in Trump's corner may have been a little disappointed by the president's effort to visit the once-popular luxury property. While Trump has flown to Florida to pop in at
Mar-a-Lago a whopping 99 times during his presidency, he has only paid a visit to Trump Tower 13 times, according to NBC.
However, Trump's 2020 campaign team has recently filled in some of the vacant space, spending nearly $900,000 in rent over the past two years, according to Federal Election Commission documents.