Trump’s neighbors are hoping he wins – so their apartments are worth more
We posed as billionaires for a viewing at Trump Tower
Trump Tower is the architectural expression of Donald Trump: Garish, brazen and deceptively old, it is an appropriately narcissistic homage to its owner.
Despite opening in 1983, Trump Tower still provides some of the most sought-after homes in America. Complete with Fifth Avenue location, residents can expect a full-time doorman and valet, a maid, a fitness room, and celebrities such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Trump himself as neighbors.
Since Trump began his attacks on minorities and women last year, it has been reported that Trump Tower residents were “embarrassed” by the association with the GOP frontrunner and were fleeing their homes.
But when we posed as billionaires to view a rare for-sale apartment in the building, the realtor told us the opposite. Some have chosen not to sell in the past few months, and are holding onto their properties specifically because Trump could be president, displaying the kind of real estate pragmatism of which Donald himself would be proud.
The realtor, whose cadence seemed to reflect Trump’s, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, says the billionaire’s neighbors are excited at the prospect of living in a flat owned by the President.
And so we began our eye-opening tour.
Signet ring on, shirt tucked in, poshest British accent in tow, I was everything I thought I’d promised to the realtor on the phone: a trust-fund baby ready to take on the big apple.
Confused by where we were meant to be meeting our realtor, we strolled haphazardly around Trump Grill, Trump Ice Cream Parlor and Trump Bar, before eventually realizing we’d be entering the building from the discreet side entrance on 56th street.
The glassy, brassy double doors were opened by a suit adorned mountain of a man and we strode confidently in to the concierge. To say it was disappointing is somewhat of an understatement: clearly showing its age, the velvet decorated space felt dingy and dated, and porters strolled purposefully around in their tailcoats and hats like something out of the Tower of Terror ride at Disney World.
Embarking in to the dimly lit elevator complete with creepy doorman and mafia-overlord-potential-future-neighbour-local was a little daunting. It soon became apparent that mafia-man encapsulated everything uncomfortable about Trump Tower: Clearly past its sell by date but still somewhat daunting, the gold-coloured walls that greeted us as we alighted the elevator were akin to mafia-man’s leather jacket and blacked out aviators.
We were visiting a 38th floor pad first, on the market at about 6.5 million, and such datedness was quickly extinguished as the front door opened to reveal a haven of natural light and contemporary sophistication.
Moving forward in to the flat it became clear why the 1000 sq ft pad meant a trashcan would occupy $6500 worth of space.
The flat was tastefully decorated but retained some of its original features meaning the sinks and showers made you feel like you were visiting your Grandma. But all of this was made up for by the stunning views over Central Park and view-boners were swiftly prompted at the prospect of the leaves turning from green to red as the months roll by.
The master bedroom looked out to the East meaning you caught a glimpse of the park as well as a sweet view of the city and an appreciation of your slumbering height.
In just the last few months, Trump Tower has been the site of countless anti-Trump protests, including a #VetsVsHate demonstration just a couple of weeks ago. The political carnage surrounding this year’s Presidential election frequently comes to the fore at 725 Fifth Avenue and is, to some at least, quite the turn-off.
But this didn’t stop us as we headed up to the 58th floor to check out our next potential purchase.
As the creepy doorman gestured for us to exit the lift yet again, we were greeted by the sound of a screeching teenager, clearly growing impatient of her botox-filled Mother who scurried out of the door soon after. The realtor fiddled around with the keys as we waited awkwardly outside, queasy at the sight of yet more brass and red velvet.
Eventually we got into the flat which was in the middle of a huge refurbishment but was en route to a spectacular finish scheduled for the end of the year.
Unfortunately we’d just missed Donald, who’d left 20 minutes prior to our arrival but owns the 66th, 67th and 68th floor of the building in a three-story penthouse-palace worth a cool $100 million.
The bare walls and hard-wood floor did little to ease the sheer sense of height you felt as you looked 600ft down to the mini-world below: yellow cabs scurrying around the floor like tiny Tetris blocks moving and shifting along New York’s geometric streets.
But the expected finish of the flat was extraordinary and in vast contrast to the drab corridors of Trump Tower outside. A contemporary, open-plan condominium spread over 2200 ft with breath-taking views of Central Park and mid-town Manhattan would set you back over $11 million bucks, but this seemed reasonable given what we’d seen in comparison.
The owner was hanging on to the property in the absence of offers, intent on creating a one bedroom super-suite for himself, but the realtor was pleading with him to keep it a two-bed as planned to hang on to the value.
The owner? Well, we enquired gently about who was capable of such immaculate design. ‘So is the owner an American?’, I gently probed. ‘No’ the realtor replied less-gently back. Either aware of my faux-affleunce or becoming increasingly agitated at my sarcastic British quips about the taste being ‘too good for a non-European’, she wasn’t keen on releasing any information about the owner.
Soon, the realtor’s phone rang and we were swiftly escorted from the flat and whooshed back down to the ground: a fitting metaphor for the sudden realisation that we weren’t going to be purchasing the 58th floor pad, or any pad at all for that matter.
We hopped on the subway back to Brooklyn and retired to our shitty bed sits, merely dreaming of one day splashing some cash on a flat in Trump Tower. Or maybe somewhere better.