The city upheld its earlier ruling that Trump must pay
There is yet more trouble for Donald Trump related to his gilded skyscraper at 721 Fifth Avenue. When last we left off, the Republican presidential nominee had returned the promised public seating to the atrium of Trump Tower, finally making good on a decades-old deal with the city after repeated fines. But the saga of the atrium continues: On Wednesday, the city upheld the $10,000 fine it levied at Trump back in June, reports Crain’s.
The issue is that the lobby, where Trump first launched his campaign by descending an escalator very, very slowly, is privately-owned public space (POPS), thanks to an agreement Trump made with the city back when he was developing the building. In exchange for building a tower taller than zoning laws would normally would allow, Trump agreed to create a two-story atrium, open to the public. When he replaced public seating with a kiosk selling campaign merch, the city was not pleased.
According to Crain’s, the DOB may also “investigating whether Trump violated another part of his agreement by closing his tower for press conferences too many times during his presidential campaign.” According to Trump’s agreement, the space could be closed no more than four times a year. (Oops.)
While the deal does (theoretically) somewhat limit the use of the lobby as a campaign hub, Crain’s points out that the building’s 15,000 square feet of public space have actually proved rather profitable for Trump. The extra height—about 20 floors worth—is worth about $530 million.