Is Keith Olbermann Leading an Exodus From Trump Buildings?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The political commentator is hardly the only one who wants out of a Trump building. An analysis reveals that more than 10 percent of the units in the iconic Trump Tower are for sale or for rent — and prices are falling.

Keith Olbermann announced Tuesday that he’s planning to move out of the Trump Palace, asserting that he no longer feels comfortable with the rhetoric of the building’s owner. “I’m getting out because of the degree to which the very name ‘Trump’ has degraded the public discourse and the nation itself,” the sports and political commentator wrote in a Washington Post op-ed piece.

While it’s too soon to move your sectional into Olbermann’s condo, don’t despair: No fewer than 25 units in the iconic, gold-plated Trump Tower are for sale or for rent. If the list is expanded to include apartments that recently came under contract, more than 11 percent of the units the 58-story high-rise at 721 Fifth Avenue are up for grabs or changing hands. (In an informal analysis of other luxury building in the area that are not new construction, roughly 8 percent of units in those properties are presently up for grabs.)

While it’s impossible to know how many of the existing owners or tenants are looking to escape the tower — renowned for its liberal use of brass, mirrors and Italian pink marble — for political reasons, The Hollywood Reporter’s analysis reveals that pricing appears increasingly soft at Trump Tower. Roughly 40 percent of the sales and rental listings in the building have been reduced in recent months. This comes at a time at which prices of luxury apartments are rising; according to the most recent Elliman Report, the average sales price of luxury units climbed 4.1 percent year over year.

Take unit 42C, an 1,127-square-foot, one-bedroom unit with views of Central Park, which has been on the market for a whopping 902 days. At the end of January, the listing price was reduced (for the fourth time in 26 months) a little more than 9 percent to $2.5 million.

In early February, the listing price for unit 37/38D, a two-bedroom duplex with 2,184 square feet and a sweeping view of the park, was slashed by $400,000 to $6.5 million. Likewise, the price for unit 39B was dropped more than 7 percent in January — now a motivated buyer can grab the 1,587-square-foot, one-bedroom condo with “fabulous city views” for $3,995,000.

On the rental side, prices are falling, too. The rent for unit 39G, a two-bedroom, 1,509-square-foot apartment with three exposures and a close-up view of the top of the Crown Building, was dropped just last week from $18,000 to $15,000. If that seems too pricey, the rent for 1,115-square foot, 1-bedroom unit 33E was trimmed to $6,500 late in February.

Of course, not all the units in the building have seen a drop in listing price. Penthouse 63L, with 4 bedrooms, 28 windows and an “oversized cherry library,” has held firm with a $23 million sale price since it was listed in October. Likewise, unit 50B, which features 1,600 square feet of living space, 2 bedrooms and floor-to-ceiling corner windows, has not seen a reduction in its $4.2 million listing price. The unit has been on the market for 309 days.

Units presently listed for rental at the Trump Tower has been on the market for an average of 117 days; by contrast, a January 2016 Elliman Report concludes that the average Manhattan rental is on the market for 54 days. 

Rana Williams, a broker with Keller Williams who is the listing agent for roughly 10 units in the building that are for sale or rent, says she hasn’t seen any softness in pricing of apartments at Trump Tower. “The pricing is very attuned to the market,” says Williams. “It’s an excellent building in a world-class location.”

4:30 pm, March 9 Updated with economic data on competitive buildings.