Real Estate

Residents push for renaming of Trump Plaza to disassociate from ex-president

While Donald Trump endures the ignominy of being the first former US president to face criminal trial, there is further humiliation brewing, with a movement to strip the Trump name from a building in his home state.

Residents at Trump Plaza, a 40-story high-rise in the suburban New York city of New Rochelle, are pushing for the building to be renamed and to escape a near-two decade association with the legally-troubled ex-president and real estate mogul.

It would follow the slew of buildings in New York City and elsewhere that have abandoned the Trump name since he entered politics, as Trump has become a divisive, much-loathed figure by liberals even as he is loved by his fans.

Owners of Trump Plaza apartments – there are 194 units – are in the middle of a vote which would further erase Trump’s name – something which would not just have implications for the people who live in the building.

Trump Plaza is located in the center of New Rochelle, a couple of blocks from restaurants and the local movie theater. Renaming the building would spare residents and workers in this racially diverse city of 80,000 people from encountering, at least visually, the Trump name.

Some people would be pleased with that.

“That would be perfect. That would be great,” said Delva Domond, 65.

“Because we go to New Roc, the movie theater, all the time. When we come around, we have to pass his building. So I’m always like: ‘Man, why don’t they take his sign down?’

“I’ve been saying that for a couple of years now. And so, you know, I’ll be glad if they take it down.”

Domond, a mechanical engineer and long-time New York state resident, said he has long had a negative opinion of Trump.

“He always had a bad reputation in New York. He does construction, he doesn’t pay his contractors. So that was one thing that, even before he became president, we were aware of that in New York,” Domond said.

“So I never liked him personally.”

Greg Root, the president of the condo board at Trump Plaza, told the New York Post that a “silent majority” of owners supported the name change. The Post, a rightwing news outlet which broke the news of the prospective change, claimed that about 24 people opposed the change, although the paper was only able to provide evidence of people from two apartments.

Three New York City residential buildings scrapped Trump’s name days after his election in November 2016, with the owner saying removing the name would make the properties more popular to tenants. It came after people had thrown eggs at the Trump-branded buildings during the presidential campaign.

The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto, which like many Trump-branded properties is not owned by the former president but instead pays to use his name and management services, paid millions of dollars to break off the branding arrangement in 2017. The building had become a site for protests against the US president.

In February the New York Times reported that after Trump became president the value of apartments in buildings bearing his name had underperformed market value. Buildings which had stripped the Trump name had seen their value shoot back up.

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“This analysis clearly identifies that it is the Trump brand that is responsible for the value deterioration,” an economist told the Times.

A block from Trump Plaza a woman, who asked not to be named, said she worked for an immigration law firm in the New Rochelle area. The firm had recently been looking for a new office space and had been told there was a vacancy in the office block next to Trump Plaza, the woman said. She said her boss would not consider moving in.

“He said: ‘Oh, my God: the people don’t like Trump Plaza because the name is linked to Trump and immigrants don’t like it, and all my customers are immigrants’,” she said.

Trump Plaza was not built by Trump, but was instead constructed by Cappelli Enterprises, which then signed an agreement which saw the Trump Association manage the high-rise. That agreement was terminated by the Trump Plaza board in 2021, but the Trump name remained atop the entrance.

Despite having no involvement with the building, Trump Plaza is still listed on the Trump Organization’s online portfolio. (200 Riverside Boulevard, formerly known as ‘Trump Place’, is also listed, despite the Trump name being removed in 2018.)

It left the twice-impeached former president with few remaining Trump-branded properties in New York.

In 2021 the Trump Organization sued New York City after the city terminated a contract to manage a golf course – Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point – in New York City. After a lengthy legal battle the course was handed over to Bally’s corporation and renamed Bally’s Golf Links at Ferry Point.

Trump also lost the rights to manage two ice rinks and a 57-horse carousel in New York, as his image became increasingly toxic. For decades Trump lived in his eponymous tower in Manhattan, but the building became the subject of frequent protesters after he was elected president. Trump changed his official residence to Florida in 2019, and moved to his Mar-a-Lago resort there after he lost the 2020 election.

“I don’t like him. He did too much ugliness. And it’s not like he tried to hide it, he did it in plain sight,” said Yvette, who asked to use only her first name. Yvette said she would welcome the Trump name being removed from Trump Plaza, having been disappointed by some of Trump’s behavior during his presidency.

“Talking about people, shitholes. He’s just the devil himself. That’s how I look at it, I don’t care for it. And I hope he gets what he deserves.”


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