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A Qualified Bump for Trump (the condos)

by Michael Gross Photographed by Kai Brinker
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Trump World Tower on First Avenue

Today’s New York Times reports on trouble in Trumpworld.  No, not the Washington branch of orange country (bye, Rex!), but the New York luxury apartment branch.  Times real estate reporter Charles Bagli spotlights studies sneak-released late last week that find that President Donald J. Trump‘s collection of “aging” towers of power, “far from leading the market,” are instead “lagging behind.” 

Bagli compares them to that spanking new 432 Park Avenue, where the average price per square foot last year was $5,564; Time Warner Center, where that average was $4,051; and the $3,812 average at One 57, currently the home of our town’s most expensive residence.

But there’s some interesting news for real estate watchers lurking behind the implicit dis to da Prez.

Two Trump towers are actually faring reasonably well in the city’s hottest luxury market, the Billionaire’s Belt that stretches across Midtown from its western anchor at the far-newer 15 Central Park West (still the market-leader with its average price per square foot of $6,758 in 2017) to its eastern end at One Beacon Court.  “Condominiums at Trump International,” the Trump Organization told Bagli, “beat the pants off the prices” at the Time Warner Center; both are just south of the Zeckendorf brothers’ Fifteen on Columbus Circle.  Trump Parc, two blocks east on Central Park South, receives a 9-out-of-10 rating from  CityRealty, one of the two firms that analyzed how the Teflon Don’s erections are rated by the market.  Trump Parc goes unmentioned in the Times report.

Finally, though it’s located on the once highly desirable but now curiously unfashionable fringe of Midtown East, Trump World Tower, across First Avenue from the United Nations (and the former home of Kellyanne Conway  and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, as well as  his parents, his in-laws and a business partner, and current home of Nikki Haley), is ranked the third most-desirable Trump-branded building by CityRealty. The company cites its steady sales volume in last 2 years, luxury amenities and average price per square foot of $1,741 as factors behind its 6-out-of-10 rating. Maybe Midtown East, where Sutton and Beekman Place were once the height of chic, won’t be undervalued for much longer.

By contrast, Trump’s own home, Trump Tower, rates second to last among his ranked buildings, and scores a dismal 2-out-of-10, despite its extraordinary location at Fifty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue and its average price per square foot of $1,917.  Perhaps it’s being punished because its most famous penthouse dweller has moved out.  



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