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TRUMPED, PART II

TRUMPED, PART II
Donald Trump Jr. is a busy man—he directs new project acquisition and development (spending a week per month in Aberdeen, Scotland for the upcoming Trump International Golf Links) and joins father Donald and sis Ivanka on The Celebrity Apprentice. He also spends 25% of his time on the firm's 70-story Trump Building at 40 Wall Street. We joined him and Trump director of commercial properties Steve Lafiosca for a tour.
The Trump Org.'s Donald Trump Jr. at 40 Wall Street
Don's walked the building's halls since he was a teenager, when his father purchased the rundown asset for only $1M in the early '90s. After taking the helm last year, Don, with Trump special consultant Jeffrey Lichtenberg and a CBRE leasing team, have signed 300k worth of deals—with more in the pipeline, including two almost signed that will take over the entire 50k SF of retail. He credits it to the building's ability to handle a variety of tenants and footprints, the firm's strong balance sheet, absence of a middleman, and personal attention to brokers and the market—with this, he's able to get a first shot at new deals and can turn one around quickly, he says.

The Trump Org.'s Donald Trump Jr. with tenant Ashir Capital at 40 Wall Street
There's also the Downtown value proposition: the Class A building rents from the low $30s to high $40s, up to $50 PSF less than some Midtown assets. Don expects another 300k soon as leases roll and new space is taken; in the meantime, the owner turned some vacant space into pre-builts. The first round was so successful that it's looking at another 40k SF worth on two floors, he says. He took us to one of the top floors to view a pre-built space, surprising tenant Ashir Capital. (Judging from the thumbs up, we think they approve.) Other tenants include CNA and Countrywide Insurance Co.

The Trump Org.'s Donald Trump Jr. at 40 Wall Street
Don points to features of the 18k-SF banquet hall, formerly home to The Bank of Manhattan, which he plans to put back into use. The basement area also includes bank vaults so large that he was told he'd have to “disassemble the building” if he wanted to remove them. The space, where the Federal Reserve used to store gold bullion, may eventually be turned into a lounge or another creative use. Did you know that when the building went up in 1929, it held the record of the world's tallest skyscraper for a mere three weeks? The Chrysler and Empire State Buildings successfully raced ahead for the distinction, and today it's the 73rd tallest (just behind Apprentice-contestant Rod Blagojevich's hair).