Pandemic overwhelms a quarter of Trump’s NYC retail tenants

Donald Trump (Getty)

About a quarter of the Trump Organization’s New York City store tenants have moved out or closed during the pandemic, according to an analysis by Forbes.

Prior to the start of the pandemic, Trump had more than 30 retail tenants in the city. New York Sports Clubs was one of the first to go, closing on Trump Park Avenue in March 2020 before its parent company went bankrupt. Capital One left in May 2020 with a year and a half left on the lease.

Another tricky location for Trump is 1290 Avenue of the Americas, where he has a 30 percent stake. Forbes reported that after three of the property’s retail tenants closed their doors, Trump lost an estimated $500,000 in annual rent.

At 6 East 57th Street, where Trump owns 100 percent of the leasehold, Forbes reported that Nike paid an estimated $16 million in annual rent before moving out and subletting it to Tiffany. However, the jeweler is expect to vacate the property next year, creating the potential for a rental vacuum.

The retail news isn’t just bad for Trump. In the Trump Tower, luxury fashion retailer Gucci renegotiated and extended the lease in February after 2026. Even there, though, Trump likely gave in to a rent cut to secure the company long-term.

If there’s any consolation to the former president, it’s that some industry leaders and indicators have signaled that the worst of the retail market could soon be behind him.

Steven Roth, CEO of Vornado Realty — Trump’s co-owner of 1290 Avenue of the Americas — said in the company’s third-quarter earnings that the city’s retail market bottomed out.

Roth added that it would “take years for this market to recover, and it could never recover to the high it was 5 or 7 years ago.”

An October report from CBRE showed that rental activity, including new leases and renewals, has increased for the first time since 2019. Ground-floor instant availability in Manhattan’s 16 high-streets fell in the third quarter, up 11 percent from the year before, but the first decline in availability since 2019.

[Forbes] — Holden Walter-Warner

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