One of the formerly Trump-branded rental towers on the Upper West Side has been sold for $266 million to New York-based apartment investor A&E Real Estate, Bloomberg was first to report.
The 28-story building, 140 Riverside Blvd., is part of Riverside South—a group of six towers overlooking the Hudson River between West 65th and 72nd streets, all of which were formerly known as “Trump Place.” The complex was constructed on the site of former rail yards, where former President Donald J. Trump once wanted to create a grandiose “Trump City.” Starting in 2016, the buildings—three of them rental buildings and three condominiums— began dissociating themselves from the ex-prez and dropping the “Trump Place” name from their facades. Now no trace remains of him.
The tower, now called simply 140 Riverside, was built in 2003 and has 354 apartments, a gym, playroom, lounges, and commercial space, which is leased to the Dwight School and a veterinarian.
A&E, which bought the building from Chicago-based Equity Residential, plans to renovate older apartments, update the lobby and lounges, expand the gym and redo the courtyard, according to Commercial Observer, citing an anonymous source.
“We are big believers in New York City and have been steadfast in that conviction over the past two years,” the chairman of A&E said in a statement. Bearing that out, Manhattan rents soared to a record high in February, with the median rent at $3,700, up 23.5% over last February.
Equity explains that it wants to diversify its portfolio, and the chief investment officer said in a statement that the company is “lightening our exposure to certain of our urban coastal markets.”
The West Side development as Trump first envisioned it was called his “bid for immortality.” After he obtained an option in the 1970s to develop old rail yards along the Hudson from West 59th to 72nd streets, he unveiled a scheme to construct “Trump City,” which would include six 76-story towers and a skyscraper twice that height—which would be the tallest building in the world; of course, he planned to occupy the penthouse.
He tried for decades to realize his dream but was met with fierce opposition. In 1990, he accepted a scaled-back version called Riverside South. By 1994, already a serial bankruptcy filer, he worked out a deal with a Hong Kong consortium of businesspeople that would allow him to keep a 30% stake in the project, and construction started in 1997. The buildings ended up changing hands a couple of times, and Equity bought the three rental towers in 2005 for $809 million. Though Trump no longer owned the properties, a deal was in place to use his name.
Residents of the rental towers started a petition in October 2016 to remove the Trump name, galled to have their residences associated with the former president. By early 2019, all six buildings had dumped Trump.
Equity said at the time that taking down the Trump moniker had nothing to do with the election but that the contract to use the name had expired.