After more than 20 years under the Trump brand, Manhattan condominium “Trump Place” is dropping the president’s last name. Instead, it will simply be known as “200 Riverside Boulevard.”
Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the 46-story building stands proudly between 69th and 70th Streets. Along with a number of residential units, hotels, casinos and golf courses, the building used to enjoy the Trump brand and the glamorous lifestyle it implies.
Since Trump’s campaign and presidency, however, the building has attracted public scrutiny for its overt affiliation with the Trump Organization.
Many condo owners are sickened by his offensive comments on women and minorities. They also become increasingly worried about security and the resale value of their apartments. Tired of living in a physical embodiment of the controversial president, almost 70 percent of the building’s residents voted to remove the huge metal “T-R-U-M-P P-L-A-C-E” from the building’s east and west facades.
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter democratically,” the board emailed all its residents. “We encourage everyone to move forward and respect the will of the community.”
Unsurprisingly, the Trump family did not calmly accept the condo owners’ decision. In fact, ever since 2017, the company has been threatening to take residents to court if they ever attempted to get rid of the letters.
Eric Trump told Washington Post that he was ready to invest substantial time and money to “fight vehemently against rogue individuals” in order to protect what he saw as “the legacy of a true visionary who did so much to shape the New York City skyline.”
The legal ground of his case is a licensing deal for Trump’s name—for $1—which he thought would permanently prevent anyone from removing the letters. But according to a judge’s ruling in May, the contract between residents and the Trump Organization does not legally bind the former to keep the Trump name.
A legacy or not, the signs are coming down.
The new “200 Riverside Boulevard” is not the first to dump the Trump name.
The owner of Panama Hotel regained management control from the Trump Organization in March after a dramatic and prolonged standoff between two sides—inside Panamanian courtrooms, ministry offices as well as the hotel’s lobby and corridors.
Besides legal arguments in court, the case witnessed a ludicrous amount of off-scene screaming and shoving. At one point, the owner’s lawyer and a Trump security guard turned physically aggressive toward each other. Armed police had to intervene to stop the conflict from exacerbating into a full-blown fight.
Trump Toronto and Trump SoHo also shed the president’s name after angry protestors surrounded the buildings and called attention to the company’s violation of zoning laws.
The failure of Trump’s business model is manifesting itself beyond the realm of real estate.
Milton Pedraza, chief executive of the Luxury Institute, told Los Angeles Times that the Trump Organization could only thrive on illusion and deception. They show “a caricature of what wealth is — as opposed to what real wealth is,” and sell products to those “who didn’t know the difference,” he explained.
There is no denying that the Trump Empire—a company built on label-slapping and morally questionable business strategies—is now crumbling.
It is hard to keep count of all the ventures that have failed after his election; Trump shoes, Trump vodka, Trump coffee, Trump pillows, Trump eyeglasses, Trump mattresses, Trump chandeliers…the list is endless.
It seems like for Trump, being president is just bad business.
Featured image via AP/Seth Wenig