One of Donald Trump's properties wants a divorce.
This one is a building.
A Trump-branded condo on the Upper West Side is suing for the right to remove "Trump" from its name, claiming they have the right to do so if enough residents don't agree with his politics. The board of 371-unit Trump Place, a luxury building which overlooks the Hudson River, filed a lawsuit in state court last week to de-Trump the place. Or at least get the ball rolling: The building was so named as part of a 2000 licensing agreement, in which Trump allowed his name to be used to market the building.
In the suit, the board doesn't explicitly say it wants to remove the name, which dominates the building's facade in brass lettering, but asks the court to agree that the agreement doesn't require it to be used.
The Trump Organization doesn't seem cool with that. In a letter to the condo board last spring, Trump attorney Alan Garten said that removing Trump's name would be a “flagrant and material breach of the license agreement.”
Harry Lipman, a lawyer for the condo, said if the judge rules the name can be removed, “the board’s residential committee will give the unit owners the opportunity to express themselves through a fair and democratic vote on the issue without any threat of legal action by the licensor.”
On Thursday, a Trump lawyer held his ground. "The condominium has always been, and remains, obligated to use the Trump name on the building; it was part of the original deal going back several decades,” Lawrence Rosen, who represents Trump's DJT Holdings, told Time. "The current Board of Directors acted pre-maturely and improperly in filing the lawsuit, circumvented an entire class of unit owners, and acted in violation of its own governance procedures."
A report by CityRealty found that prices in the 11 Trump-branded buildings in Manhattan fell 7 percent in the 12 months preceding last November.
Two hotels have removed the Trump name from their branding in the last year: One in Toronto and the other in New York City's Soho.