Donald Trump is now the president of the USA, the most powerful man in the world, a leader of the Western world and someone that people look up to. He has a history in the real estate market which is unmatched, he has been there, done it, been bankrupt, came back and bought the T-shirt to show every step of the way. So, when Donald Trump was talking about the size of his penthouse was he telling porkies?
Everything is big in Donald Trump’s world
Those who follow the real estate legend that is Donald Trump will be well aware that everything is big in his world, big crowds, big news, big policies and the list goes on. So, in a Forbes interview during the election campaign he claimed that his penthouse apartment in Trump Tower was a staggering 33,000 ft.² and worth – wait for it – at least $200 million!
In the political world size does mean everything and a $200 million penthouse would certainly have increased the social circle of Donald Trump amongst his fellow politicians. However, as the interview came to an end Forbes magazine began to grow suspicious of the claim that the property was 33,000 ft.². How could this be?
New York City records show that Donald Trump acquired an apartment in 1983 which was 6096 ft.² which is not small but nowhere near 33,000 ft.². He then expanded the property into two neighbouring apartments 10 years later bringing the square footage up to 10,996. This is a figure which is in the public domain but it is still less than one third of the indicated size. What happened next?
The simple answer is that nothing happened next, there are no records of Donald Trump further expanding the apartment, no more acquisitions of neighbouring apartments so it looks as though around 22,000 ft.² has disappeared? Surely the president of the USA was not trying to hoodwink the press?
It looks as though Donald Trump also factored in so-called common elements such as hallways, elevators and “mechanical space” to arrive at his 33,000 ft.² figure. Creative thinking Mr Trump!
So what about the $200 million value of his apartment?
Forbes apparently approached one of Trump’s many spokespeople and asked them for a comment on the apparent discrepancy in not only size but the value of his apartment. For once the president was lost for words and no official comment was forthcoming so Forbes was forced to make its own estimate. Using the correct square footage and the value of surrounding similar properties it is estimated that the president’s apartment is worth $64 million. This is around $136 million shy of the $200 million valuation but even so it is still a significant asset!
We all know that Donald Trump thinks big, talks big and has a big personality but is it really becoming of the president of the USA to play with numbers whether or not he meant to give the wrong impression? This is a man on whom the real estate market has certainly hung its hat with hopes that he will be “friendly” to the sector when he gets round to finalising his much publicised core policies.