On Election Day 2016, six residential buildings called Trump Place stood in a row on Manhattan’s Upper West Side — a legacy of Donald Trump’s efforts to develop that site and a sign of the Trump name’s enduring value in New York.
Soon, his name will be gone from all of them.
On Friday, the last building holding on to the name announced that it would take it down, according to an email obtained by The Washington Post.
That email, sent out by the condo board at 220 Riverside Blvd., said that it had held a vote of building owners and that owners representing 83 percent of the building had cast votes.
“Of the 83 percent [that] voted, 74.7 percent voted to remove the signage, and 25.3 percent voted not to remove the signage,” the email said.
“Over the next several weeks, we will select a company to carry out the required work” of removing the signs, the board said.
This decision will not cost the Trump Organization any money. The condo board said that the president’s company still holds a contract to manage the building and that the contract was not affected by the removal of the sign.
The Trump Organization “continues to do an outstanding job in ensuring the financial and operational well being of the condominium,” the board’s email said.
One day earlier, the condo board at the second-to-last Trump Place building — at 120 Riverside — had announced its own decision to remove the president’s name.
These decisions signal how Trump’s politics have become a weight on his brand in some foreign countries and liberal U.S. cities, including New York, the city that gave him his start. At both buildings, residents were willing to spend money to remove any trace of Trump’s name from the facades.
At the building that voted Friday, the condo board did not say how much it expected the sign removal to cost. In the past, it had estimated the cost to be between $150,000 and $1 million.
Neither the condo board nor the Trump Organization immediately responded to a request for comment Friday. The president still owns his company, though he has handed day-to-day control to his sons Don Jr. and Eric.
Trump spent decades as a developer in New York, and — even after these signs come down — his name will still adorn nine buildings in Manhattan, including Trump Tower.
But Trump Place was something unique: an entire neighborhood of buildings, all named in Trump’s honor. It was the result of decades of work, starting in the 1970s when Trump obtained an option to develop an old railroad yard along the Hudson River.
Trump had grand dreams for the site. He envisioned a “Television City” of studio buildings, or a “Trump City” of residential buildings, according to a history of the site in Politico.
Neither of those came true. Trump instead sold most of his stake to Hong Kong business executives, who built a string of residential buildings along the Hudson River, starting in the 1990s. Trump kept the contract to manage most of the buildings, and he saw his name go up on six of them.
The name stayed up through Trump’s turn to scorched-earth politics, through his false accusation that President Barack Obama was not a U.S. citizen, and through a presidential campaign in which Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and was heard on a video bragging about groping women without their consent. In other parts of Trump’s business, old clients and business partners parted ways with him in this period.
Then Trump won. And, at Trump Place, the signs began to come down.
Three apartment buildings were the first to remove the Trump Place signs, just a week after the 2016 election.
Then, in 2017, a condo building at 200 Riverside also considered the idea. Before residents made a decision, they got a letter from the Trump Organization, which said the building was required to keep up the sign by a licensing agreement signed in 2000.
If it was removed, Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten said, the company “will have no choice but to commence appropriate legal proceedings.”
That left just two Trump Place buildings — the ones that decided this week to remove their signs.
The idea of changing the last building’s name began in October 2016, when residents circulated a petition saying that many in the building “would rather not rent in a building with the Trump name attached to it,” as reported by the New York real estate website Brick Underground.
Documents provided to The Washington Post show that opposition to the name built over time. In February 2017, only 39 percent of owners who voted wanted to take the sign down. By October 2017, it was up to 50.9 percent. And it kept climbing.