Trump Plaza’s condo board votes to remove ex-president’s name from West Palm towers

President Donald Trump and Trump Plaza  (Getty, Google Maps)

President Donald Trump and Trump Plaza  (Getty, Google Maps)

Trump Plaza’s condo board voted to remove the ex-president’s name from the West Palm Beach towers.

The twin towers’ board unanimously voted last week to change Trump Plaza’s name as a result of the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, the Palm Beach Post reported.

The move marks the latest attempt in the past year to create distance from Trump. Last year, residents voted to remove Trump signage, including street-level signs as well as the Trump Plaza signs that adorned the top of the buildings. The rooftop signs were originally taken off for repairs, but residents voted for them to remain off the building.

Trump purchased the 221-unit development at 525 and 529 Flagler Drive in 1986 and handed the buildings over to lenders in 1991. They decided to keep the Trump brand attached to the condo to help sales, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The 32-story towers have sweeping views of the Intracoastal, Palm Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, with units selling from $1 million to over $4 million. A new name has not yet been determined.

Many businesses and former partners of The Trump Organization are cutting ties in wake of the Capitol storming. In Chicago, the 3,000-square-foot “TRUMP” sign on the Trump International Hotel & Tower may also be coming down.

[Palm Beach Post] — Jordan Pandy

What’s in a name? If it’s Trump, alderman wants it gone

Photo illustration of Alderman Gilbert Villegas with the Trump International Hotel & Tower. (Getty, Trump Hotels, Gilbert for Chicago)

Photo illustration of Alderman Gilbert Villegas with the Trump International Hotel & Tower. (Getty, Trump Hotels, Gilbert for Chicago)

Days may be numbered for the 3,000-square-foot “TRUMP” sign that has been affixed to the Trump International Hotel & Tower along the Chicago River.

Alderman Gilbert Villegas said he would introduce an ordinance to yank the 20-foot tall sign from the skyscraper at 401 North Wabash Avenue, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Villegas’ measure would prohibit a person convicted of treason, sedition or subversive actions from doing business with the city, according to the report. That would include having a sign permit. The House of Representatives was expected to vote on President Donald Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday, although conviction in the Senate is far from certain.

Villegas said the Trump sign “just doesn’t represent Chicago’s values.” He added of his legislation, “We’re not sure how legal it is, but at the end of the day, sue us,” he told Crain’s.

Following last week’s mob insurrection at the Capitol that was stoked by the president, the Trump Organization has faced mounting challenges. Cushman & Wakefield, which handled retail leasing at Trump International, said Tuesday night “it would no longer do business with the Trump Organization.”

JLL, whose listing agreement to sell the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., expired, also said it would stop doing business with the firm. Banks and political allies, too, have sought to distance themselves from the president, while New York City on Wednesday said it would exit its business deals with Trump. The firm said it would sue to collect the $30 million remaining on those contracts.

Trump signs have been disappearing from buildings and public recreation areas in New York over the past few years, including at two skating rinks and a carousel in Central Park — perhaps to avoid scaring off customers in places where the president is not popular.

In other cases, residents upset with Trump have sought to remove displays of his name from their buildings. In 2019, the TRUMP PLACE sign was pulled off a group of condominium towers on New York’s Upper West Side.

The 98-story Trump International in Chicago has 486 condos, 339 hotel rooms and 70,000 square feet of retail space. Nearly all of that retail has been vacant since the building opened in 2009.

The city approved the massive Trump sign in 2014, the same year that a special district prohibited signs along the river from rising between the second floor and the roof, the Tribune reported. Four years later, signs were capped at 1,100 square feet, far smaller than the existing Trump sign, which had been grandfathered.

[Tribune, Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman  

Trump Org blasts NYC mayor for criminal referral of tax findings

Mayor Bill de Blasio, 40 Wall Street, and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, 40 Wall St. via the Trump Organization)

Mayor Bill de Blasio, 40 Wall Street, and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, 40 Wall St. via the Trump Organization)

The Trump Organization blasted the New York City mayor for saying his probe of the company turned up evidence of a possible crime.

Following a news report late last year that President Donald Trump’s development firm reported different income figures to lenders and the government for the same real estate, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched an investigation. The mayor said Friday that some of his administration’s findings had been referred to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance for possible criminal prosecution.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization lashed back Monday, saying the mayor is the “last person to be pointing fingers,” given the “rash of investigations” against the mayor’s presidential campaign, which ended in September. (Previous fundraising efforts by de Blasio were also scrutinized by Vance and federal prosecutors, resulting in harsh criticism but no charges.)

“The allegations are unfounded and clearly motivated by politics,” the Trump spokesperson said in a statement to The Real Deal.

The mayor’s office followed up with its own barb.

“President Trump is a con artist and his refusal to release his tax returns says more than enough about what he is trying to hide,” Freddi Goldstein, the mayor’s press secretary, said in a statement.

In October, ProPublica and WNYC reported that the Trump Organization had reported lower income figures at some of its buildings to the Department of Finance, which oversees property taxes, than it did to potential lenders.

The ProPublica-WNYC report cited experts that suggested the practice used at the Trump Organization’s 40 Wall Street could amount to fraud.

On Friday, de Blasio said during an interview with WNYC that “at least one piece of what was found was serious enough to be referred to the D.A.” A person familiar with the probe said it was passed on to Vance in November.

A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said the office does not confirm investigations, and declined to comment further.

Landlords of all sizes challenge their property assessments in an effort to lower their real estate taxes, including by arguing that they do not produce as much income as the assessment assumes. Reporting robust income to lenders can entice them to provide larger loans to the property owner. In the case of a discrepancy between the two income numbers, prosecutors could evaluate whether there was an attempt to defraud either the government or the lenders.

Trump Organization might sell its controversial Washington D.C. hotel

Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

The Trump Organization may sell its Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., following years of criticism that the family is disregarding ethics laws by continuing to profit from it during Donald Trump’s presidency.

The company has hired JLL to market the hotel and is party looking to sell it because of the ethics criticism the family has faced, Eric Trump told the Wall Street Journal. Several groups have said they are interested in buying it, he told the publication. They hope to sell it for more than $500 million, which would make it one of the priciest hotel deals ever.

The building is 121 years old and located in the former Old Post Office near the National Mall. The federal government owns the building but leases it to the Trump Organization through the General Services Administration. The agreement with the GSA allows Trump to sell his interest in the Old Post Office lease as early as October 26, 2019, said attorney Susan Simpson.

Donald Trump famously did not sell his businesses after winning the presidency and has frequently visited and talked up the hotel since his election. Revenue increased by roughly $400,000 to hit $40.8 million last year, while revenue at several of his other properties dropped.

“Since we opened our doors, we have received tremendous interest in this hotel, and as real-estate developers, we are always willing to explore our options,” Eric Trump said in a statement. “People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell.” [WSJ] – Eddie Small

Miami Beach OKs hotel development on Lincoln Road, Bank OZK’s construction lending is up: Daily digest

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 6:30 p.m.

Miami Beach commission approves hotel development on Lincoln Road. The city commission gave the green light for hotels on the north side of the popular retail street from Pennsylvania and Lenox avenues. The hotels would have to be set back at least 75 feet from Lincoln Road. Sites of at least 30,000 square feet could be developed into hotels with at least 100 rooms. [SFBJ]

Bank OZK’s construction lending is up. The Arkansas-based bank reported that its third quarter construction loan portfolio grew to $6.68 billion from $6.49 billion a year earlier. It originated $2 billion in loans during the latest quarter. The bank has more than $23 billion in assets and is one of the most active construction lenders in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. [TRD]

A joint venture between BentallGreenOak and Bridge Development Partners bought most of a mixed-use business park next to the Opa-locka Executive Airport for $126 million. The group purchased 948,000 square feet of space, with an additional 1 million square feet of industrial and aviation-related development rights on 47 acres at the AVE Aviation & Commerce Center. [TRD]

Miramar-based Spirit Airlines will consolidate its headquarters and other facilities in Broward County at a new $250 million campus in Dania Beach. Spirit’s project at the Dania Pointe mixed-use development, just south of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, will span up to 500,000 square feet. It will include corporate offices and a crew-training facility equipped with flight simulators. [TRD]

WeWork’s valuation might drop to $8 billion. That’s if it takes a lifeline from SoftBank. The figure is dramatically lower than the $47 billion valuation set earlier this year by the Japanese conglomerate, which has already sunk $10 billion into the company. [TRD]

Developer Glenn Straub sold a chunk of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club property in Wellington for $16 million. The buyer is Scott Swerdlin, one of the top equine veterinarians in Wellington. Straub’s company provided $16 million in seller financing. [TRD]

Adam Kimmel is the sixth executive to resign from WeWork in the last month. Kimmel joined the company in 2017 as chief creative officer after a career in fashion, and designed the WeWork San Francisco office. The company is considering laying off as many as 2,000 people in the coming weeks. [Bloomberg]

Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

President Trump will host the G-7 summit at Trump National Doral. His acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said Trump has “pretty much made it very clear since he got here that he doesn’t profit from being here” and that the hotel would host the conference “at cost,” the New York Times reported. The decision drew criticism about whether it was a conflict of interest to choose one of his own properties. A recent report by the Washington Post found that overall revenue at the golf resort is down since 2015 and net operating income declined by 69 percent from 2015 to 2017.  [NYT]

The Florida Panthers’ nonprofit will pay for a $45M renovation of the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale. The city of Fort Lauderdale owns the building, which was built in 1950, and is contributing an $800,000 grant for the project. It’s also leasing the 7-acre property for $1 a year for the next 50 years. [Sun Sentinel]

From left: E.B. Solomont, Ron Shuffield, Mike Pappas, Oren Alexander and Phil Gutman

From left: E.B. Solomont, Ron Shuffield, Mike Pappas, Oren Alexander and Phil Gutman

Unrealistic pricing is bogging down Miami’s luxury condo market. Douglas Elliman agent Oren Alexander; Phil Gutman, president of Brown Harris Stevens Miami; Mike Pappas, president of the Keyes Company; and Ron Shuffield, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty, said that sellers overpricing properties is contributing to the slow market, during a panel discussion about “Bucking the Buyer’s Market” at The Real Deal’s 2019 Real Estate Showcase & Forum on Thursday. [TRD]

Compiled by Katherine Kallergis

Felix Cohen buys two vacant lots on North Bay Road, Controversial Walmart site in Midtown Miami sells for $26M: Daily digest

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 6:15 p.m.

Julian Cohen with the property

Julian Cohen with the property

Spec home developer Felix Cohen buys two vacant lots on North Bay Road for $14M. Cohen bought the combined 36,143 square-foot-property at 5830–5840 North Bay Road for $373 per square foot, records show. The property features 200 feet of deep water frontage. [TRD]

Controversial Walmart site in Midtown Miami sells for $26M. The former site of Walmart in Midtown Miami sold for $26.4 million to a neighboring Midtown developer, after years of contentious litigation from residents who opposed a superstore. Walmart sold the 4.6-acre site at 3055 North Miami Ave to Midtown Opportunities, led by Alex Vadia. [TRD]

Manny Machado and Chad Carroll with 20 Tahiti Beach Island Road (Credit: Getty Images and Douglas Elliman)

Manny Machado and Chad Carroll with 20 Tahiti Beach Island Road (Credit: Getty Images and Douglas Elliman)

Buyer revealed: Baseball player Manny Machado buys Tahiti Beach Island manse. Baseball player and Miami native Manny Machado scored a mansion in his hometown. Manny Machado, third baseman and shortstop for the San Diego Padres, is the buyer of 20 Tahiti Beach Island Road in Coral Gables. [TRD]

Brookfield affiliate picks up tire distribution center for $20M. A company tied to Brookfield Asset Management picked up the Tire Group International Distribution Center near Miami International Airport for $19.5 million, adding to the firm’s South Florida holdings. [TRD]

The purge continues: WeWork’s head of real estate is leaving. Granit Gjonbalaj, who oversaw real estate operations including design, construction, project management and development, signalled his intent to resign earlier this week, people familiar with the matter told The Real Deal. He is currently negotiating his exit package. [TRD]

Joseph Maas of TMT Properties and 190 Congress Park Drive (Credit: Google Maps)

Joseph Maas of TMT Properties and 190 Congress Park Drive (Credit: Google Maps)

TMT Properties buys Delray Beach offices. TMT Properties bought two office properties in Delray Beach for $10.1 million, a year after buying an adjacent building. [TRD]

Forever 21 still doesn’t have a reorganization plan ahead of its bankruptcy proceedings. Its two largest landlords, Brookfield Property Partners LP and Simon Property Group, could be left with vacant space heading into the busiest retail time of the year. [Bloomberg]

Five investors are said to be circling Barneys New York Inc., the bankrupt luxury retailer. After filing for Chapter 11 earlier this month, Barneys bankruptcy auction is scheduled for no later than Oct. 29. [Bloomberg]

Two South Florida businessmen could be tied to President Trump’s impeachment inquiry. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were cited in a government whistleblower complaint released Thursday, according to the Miami Herald. Parnas is a former stockbroker who was threatened last year with eviction from a $5,500-per-month home in Boca Raton. Parnas is also linked to a Bal Harbour condo that sold for $4.1 million, according to the Herald. [Miami Herald]

Real estate stocks tick up — even as the House begins impeachment inquiry (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Real estate stocks tick up — even as the House begins impeachment inquiry (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

A rally for real estate stocks amid a tumultuous week for Trump. Real estate stocks have ticked up this week, weathering a downward trending S&P 500 and the news that the House Speaker had opened a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. [TRD]

Miami commissioners approved a $1 billion spending plan. The spending plan includes subsidies for low-income seniors and park improvements, according to the Miami Herald. Mayor Francis Suarez is looking to create a $1 million rent assistance program for low-income seniors who live in subsidized housing, in which residents could receive up to $200 a month to cover rent increases. [Miami Herald]

NewSound Church in Wellington is considering buying the site of a former strip club. The church is looking to buy a large former strip club on Southern Boulevard, according to the Palm Beach Post. The former Double Dee’s, at 8199 Southern Boulevard in unincorporated West Palm Beach, was once owned by a man accused of mob ties and closed late last year, according to the Post. [Palm Beach Post]

Pompano suspends self-storage development, energy drink founder lists two homes for $70M: Daily Digest

Every day, The Real Deal rounds up South Florida’s biggest real estate news, from breaking news and scoops to announcements and deals. We update this page throughout the day. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

This page was last updated at 9 a.m.

Pompano Beach imposes six-month moratorium on self-storage development (Credit: iStock)

Pompano Beach imposes six-month moratorium on self-storage development (Credit: iStock)

Hold onto your stuff: Pompano Beach voted to suspend self-storage development. City commissioners imposed a six-month moratorium on self-storage developments in Pompano Beach, part of a broader resistance to such projects. [TRD]

Founder of Rockstar Energy Drink lists two South Florida homes for $70 million. Billionaire Russell Weiner, who made his fortune with Rockstar Energy Drink, is looking to sell two South Florida homes for a combined price of $70 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Weiner put his Miami Beach and Delray Beach homes on the market for $35 million apiece. [WSJ]

501 South Andrews Avenue and a rendering of Riverparc Square

501 South Andrews Avenue and a rendering of Riverparc Square

Fort Lauderdale site of planned Riverparc Square sells. A downtown Fort Lauderdale office building that is the site for the planned mixed-use project, Riverparc Square, sold for $16.3 million. [TRD]

Embattled Costa Hollywood Resort files for bankruptcy. The troubled Costa Hollywood Resort in Hollywood Beach filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection five months after its lender sought to foreclose on the condo-hotel. The bankruptcy filing marks the latest challenge for the 326-unit project at 777 North Ocean Drive that opened in October. [TRD]

Waterfront house in North Bay Village sets single-family home sale record. A private equity fund investor sold her North Bay Village home for $5.1 million, marking an all-time record in the city that runs along the 79th Street Causeway. [TRD]

Crescent Heights to begin construction of massive Edgewater project. Developer Russell Galbut’s Crescent Heights acquired more land for the firm’s massive Edgewater development. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation sold its building at 2900 Biscayne Boulevard to Crescent Heights’ 2900 Block Redevelopment LLC for $6.75 million. The property is in an Opportunity Zone. [TRD]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Credit: Getty Images)

AOC’s $16.5B housing plan is really bad for real estate. On the heels of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ $2.5 trillion housing plan, the firebrand New York congresswoman just released her own $16.5 billion plan on Tuesday, and it’s not pretty for institutional landlords. [TRD]

Adam Neumann is out. Now what? WeWork is in talks with JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs for a new $3 billion loan, contingent on raising significant equity. The office-space company is also looking at closing side businesses, such as WeGrow, and laying off thousands of employees. [Bloomberg]

Trump has deep real estate ties to Ukraine as Democrats seek impeachment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced the beginning of a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump over his conversation with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump has a number of real estate ties to Ukraine. They include a connection to a Ukrainian developer who wanted the Trump branding rights for a Moscow tower, and his associates’ efforts to negotiate a possible Russia-Ukraine peace deal. [TRD]

Lauderhill golf course to close. The privately owned Inverrary Country Club in Lauderhill plans to shut down its golf courses next June, according to the South Florida Business Journal. Victorville West Limited Partnership owns the 292.5-acre property, which has 36 holes and a clubhouse. Many golf courses across South Florida are being redeveloped into residential communities as land becomes more scarce. [SFBJ]

A Marine Corps reserve unit that planned to hold its annual ball at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach is now looking for a new location. The event was supposed to be held on Nov. 16, but the 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company,, a Marine unit stationed in West Palm Beach, was ordered to find another venue, according to the Miami Herald. The decision came after concerns that the military unit would be benefiting President Trump. [Miami Herald]

Another hotel owner is trying to drop the Trump brand

From TRD New York: Owners of a luxury hotel in Panama want to shed the Trump brand as room rates, according to some, plummet.
The Trump International Hotel in Panama City is legally required to hold onto the Trump brand, representatives from the Trump Organization told Bloomberg. The Associated Press reported that the hotel’s owners were attempting to drop the brand, marking the third time a hotel has tried to do so this year.
“Not only do we have a valid, binding and enforceable long-term management agreement, but any suggestion that the hotel is not performing up to expectations is belied by the actual facts,” the Trump Organization said in a statement. The company said the hotel has outperformed the market in the past three years. In September, the hotel did 37 percent better than competitors, the Trump Organization claimed.
But London-based FairFx found that room rates at the Panama hotel have dropped 32 percent since President Trump’s inauguration.
Last week, the New York Times reported that the Trump Organization signed a deal with Trump Soho’s owner, CIM Group, to drop its licensing agreement and remove its name from the property. In June, a hotel owner in Toronto reached a similar agreement to drop the brand from the Trump International Hotel & Tower in downtown Toronto. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel 

Source: The Real Deal Miami