- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Occupancy rates at New York’s Trump Tower have reportedly plummeted in the last seven years, leading to the president’s Manhattan property to become “one of the least desirable luxury properties.”

According to a Bloomberg report, property records show the occupancy rate has fallen from 99% occupancy to 83% occupancy and have sold their units at a loss when adjusted for inflation.

What’s more, owners selling units in the building have reported losing as much as 20% on the transaction at a time when only 0.23% of Manhattan homes are selling at a loss, according to real-estate data provider PropertyShark.

One anonymous New York real estate agent said home buyers have repeatedly requested not to view properties in Mr. Trump’s building, which has become “a fortress” and is now surrounded with concrete barriers, blocking off two main entrances.

Michael Sklar, who sold his parents’ 57th-floor unit for $1.83 million, effectively lost money on the October sale. His parents had purchased the unit in 2004 for $1.4 million, which, adjusted for inflation, would be $1.84 million in 2018 dollars.

“The name on the building became a problem” after Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Sklar said, Bloomberg reported. “No one wants in that building.”

Trump Tower’s cachet has also been dinged in deep blue Manhattan for having been the venue for a 2016 meeting between Mr. Trump’s campaign and a Russian lawyer, an event detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to the Justice Department. 

Another Manhattan Trump-branded property has also appeared to be the beneficiary of rental agreements by foreign governments. A recent Reuters report found the U.S. State Department signed off on foreign governments renting luxury condominiums in Trump World Tower — located adjacent to the United Nations Headquarters — without congressional approval, which critics say could violate the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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