Only one apartment on our list of the city’s most expensive rentals tops the Trump Tower apartment currently being rented by the U.S. government. According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, the military office that supports the White House is shelling out $130,000/month to rent a 3,475-square-foot space in the president’s namesake Fifth Avenue skyscraper.
Per the WSJ, the government signed an 18-month, $2.39 million lease to rent the space from April 11, 2017 until September 30, 2018. But the General Services Administration (GSA), the government agency charged with securing office space for the federal government, maintains that there is no way for the president to make financial gains off of the lease. Though the Trump Organization still owns the commercial space within Trump Tower, its apartments are privately owned by its residents (though many of them are shielded behind LLCs). GSA redacted portions of the documents obtained by the WSJ, but it’s speculated that Joel Anderson, who sits on the Trump Tower board of directors, is the owner.
The price tag makes the rental one of the city’s priciest, bested only by the Pierre Hotel’s staggering $500,000/month rental. And the military’s $130,000/month lease isn’t even close to market rate for similar units within Trump Tower—as the WSJ points out, the most expensive rental in Trump Tower prior to the government’s lease was a 3,725-square-foot home asking a mere $50,000/month unfurnished and $60,000/month furnished.
In a March 3rd letter to California Democrat Jackie Speier, James MacStravic, acting-Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics defended the lease, stating that the need for proximity to the president’s residence “drives the location and price for this acquisition,” contending that similar arrangements have been made for former presidents.