Prices Plunge in Trump Buildings

There are bargains, but some real estate shoppers aren't interested because of the name over the door
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 4, 2021 4:55 PM CDT
Price Drop Means Trump Buildings Have Bargains
At Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, shown in 2016, condo prices have dropped 34% since Donald Trump took office, a consultant said.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The building has stunning Manhattan skyline views, its spa offers deep-tissue massages, and the fancy restaurant off the lobby serves prime steaks. Best of all, many apartments at the Trump World Tower are selling at a deep discount—assuming the buyer doesn't mind the name over the door. "Fifty percent of the people wouldn’t want to live in a Trump building for any reason ... but then there are guys like me," said Lou Sollecito, a car dealer who recently bought a two-bedroom unit with views of the Empire State Building. "It's a super buy." The purchase price was $3 million, nearly a million less than the seller paid in 2008. Bargain hunters are swooping in to take advantage of prices in Trump buildings that have dropped to levels not seen in over a decade, the AP reports, a crash brokers attribute to a combination of the former president's polarizing image and the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a stunning reversal for a brand that once lured the rich and famous willing to pay a premium to live in a building with Donald Trump's gilded name on it.

An AP review of more than 4,000 transactions over the past 15 years in 11 Trump-branded buildings in Chicago, Honolulu, Las Vegas, and New York found prices for some condos and hotel rooms on the market have dropped by one-third or more. That plunge outpaces drops in many similar buildings, leaving units in Trump buildings to be had for hundreds of thousands to up to a million dollars less than they would have gone for years ago. Just how much the Trump name is to blame is impossible to say. Many units are in cities hit hard by the pandemic or in hotels that had to shut down or in buildings much older than their competitors, making comparisons difficult. Still, Trump's rhetoric and policies haven't helped. Within a year of his inauguration, hotels and condo buildings in Panama, Toronto, and Manhattan that paid millions to use his name started stripping it off their facades. After Trump was accused of whipping up the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, things got worse. Several brokers say many potential buyers won't even look at Trump buildings now. "I have never seen buildings plummet so dramatically," said an employee of CityRealty. But a New York buyer said: "Ten years from now people will forget about him. The name will mean less." (The name on the building did bother Keith Olbermann.)

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