Judge: 'Trump Place' Can Remove 'Trump'

Manhattan condo building wins fight with Trump Organization
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2018 1:04 PM CDT
The gold letters spell out "Trump Place" on the front of a New York City condominium building, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. The board of the condominium tower in New York City is asking a court to declare...   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – Trump Place no more? A New York Supreme Court judge ruled Thursday that the Manhattan condominium building can remove the president's name from its building, the New York Times reports. In 2000, the building at 200 Riverside Boulevard entered into a licensing agreement with DJT Holdings, one of Trump's companies, giving the 46-story building the right to use the Trump name. But in January, the condominium board asked the court to declare that the licensing agreement does not actually require it to use Trump's name. Now that the court has ruled in the board's favor, the building's 377 condo owners can vote on whether to remove Trump's name. The judge appeared to indicate that removing the letters from the building would be changing the building's name, which requires a two-thirds majority vote, the Washington Post reports.

After Trump's election, 253 of those owners participated in a straw poll that found nearly two-thirds of them wanted to remove the name, but a lawyer for a Trump subsidiary sent a letter warning that if the board attempted to do so, Trump would "commence appropriate legal proceedings to not only prevent such unauthorized action, but to also recover the significant amount of damages, costs and attorney's fees." In court papers, Trump Organization lawyers argued that the building owners were only charged $1 to use Trump's name and that, in addition to the single dollar, the owners were giving "assurance" that the name would appear on the building "in perpetuity." But the judge found no evidence in the four-page agreement of that deal. The Trump Organization will still manage the building; its contract runs until 2019. Other Trump-branded buildings in New York as well as Panama City and Toronto have recently removed his name as well.

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