To get inside Trump Tower these days, visitors, workers and residents must approach a horde of police officers, declare their destination and allow their bags to be searched. That’s after braving protesters carrying signs like “Trump = con man” on the opposite side of Fifth Avenue and ducking to avoid ruining a TV news crew’s shot.
Welcome to the Trump transition HQ. The circus, however, is unlikely to end on Inauguration Day. That prospect is sure to raise major financial questions for the condo owners who also call the building home.
President-elect Donald Trump is among the residents of the 263 condominiums that occupy the tower’s 30th through 68th floors. He has indicated he wishes to return to his gold-plated apartment as often as possible, while his wife, Melania, and young son Barron will remain in residence at least until the end of the school year. Reports say the Secret Service is considering renting a floor of the building.
What will the constant presence of press, protesters and security personnel mean for the value of the 262 other apartments?
New York apartment search site StreetEasy shows 16 units currently for sale in Trump Tower. They are priced from $2.1 million for a 1,052-square-foot one-bedroom to $11 million for a two-bedroom more than twice that size.
A penthouse previously listed for $23 million was taken off the market less than a week after the election and the most recent sale closed was in September. No Trump Tower apartments have come on the market or had prices changes since Election Day, though a few were listed just weeks or days before. StreetEasy shows that the highest price ever achieved for a Trump Tower apartment was $24.5 million in 2013.
The Trump Organization, which owns the building, did not respond to FORBES' questions by the time of publication.
“For every person who doesn’t want to live at Trump Tower there is probably somebody who thinks it’s nifty to live where the president is,” says Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty and publisher of a weekly report on New York’s luxury real estate sales. She likens living in Trump Tower today to sharing a building with an A-list celebrity—albeit on steroids.
Experts agree it is too soon to make any sweeping judgement about the future of Trump Tower condo prices. There are pros to sharing a roof with the most powerful person on earth—like security and notoriety. But there are also many cons.
So far traffic has emerged as a key downside for New Yorkers. Since Election Day cars haven’t been permitted on 56th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues--where the resident entrance is located—adding to typical midtown congestion. New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neil has said that residents should expect an elevated police presence around the tower going forward, but that Fifth Avenue would not be regularly closed to traffic as some had feared.