The Trump name has been on my radar a long time. My grandparents lived in a middle class co-op in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn called Trump Village. Donald’s dad Fred built it.
Donald himself first came to my attention in the early 80s. He was buying properties in Midtown Manhattan, buildings which were undervalued because of New York City rent control laws. One of those buildings was 100 Central Park South (photo above). Directly across from Central Park, it is on one of the most valuable pieces of property in the world!
Trump figured if he could remove rent control, charge market rates and convert the building to luxury co-ops, he could make a fortune. Problem is there was no way to do that without being morally repugnant and possibly violating the law.
He tried evicting the tenants, many older who had lived in the building for decades. They fought back in court.
The first witness was James Galef, an investment analyst who was born 28 years ago in the 12th-floor apartment where he and his brother still live. He described what he said were deteriorating conditions in the building, including faulty elevators and bare lightbulbs in hallways, and he showed a picture of mushrooms growing under a rug.
On Jan. 1, 1982, 10 months after Mr. Trump bought the 15-story building, Mr. Galef received a notice that said he had to restore the apartment to its original condition within 10 days or face immediate eviction. This meant, he said, that he had to replace a wall that had been torn down in 1955, before he was born.
Eviction wasn’t his only ploy. He also tried to change the makeup of the building’s tenants.
New York City was seeking to shelter hundreds of homeless people last year. Donald J. Trump, the realty developer, had a suggestion: put some in 10 vacant apartments in his building at 100 Central Park South.
He offered to let the city’s Human Resources Administration house the homeless at no charge. From the NY Times:
The apartments happened to be in one of Manhattan’s choicer areas. By another coincidence, Mr. Trump was seeking to empty the rentcontrolled building to put up a hotel. He said the tenants were ”multimillionaires” who should not ”be protected in rentcontrolled apartments.”
Robert Trobe, an H.R.A. deputy administrator, has refused the offer, a spokesman says, because ”it did not seem appropriate to house clients in a building slated for demolition.”
Trump was a schmuck. Money and his personal gain were more important than the safety and well being of his mainly older tenants. He knew the regulations going in. He wasn’t about to let them slow him down.
Nothing has changed. He is still a bully. He still doesn’t give a crap for anyone who stands in his way. He represents pretty much everything in life I hate.
Thirty plus years is a long time to stay pissed at The Donald. He hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed.