DOWNTOWN — Downtown condos can be hard to find … unless you’re looking in Trump Tower.
There were 62 condominiums listed for sale in the Trump International Hotel & Tower at 401 N. Wabash Ave. as of Friday afternoon. Take away the 14 listed "hotel-condos" likely owned by investors, and the tower still has double or triple the number of active listings of any other comparable condo building in Downtown Chicago.
"Nobody has 60 units on the market," said Gail Lissner, vice president of Chicago-based real estate consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors. "This is enormous."
Downtown condo prices have rebounded since the recession, and March marks the early days of the annual spring selling season when well-heeled homebuyers search for new homes. The stock market has mostly been up since the start of the year.
But 62 listings is unusually high for just one building, especially one that isn't selling new condos anymore. The Trump Organization reported selling its last developer-owned condo in 2014, Lissner said.
The number of listings in Trump dwarfs those in comparable luxury condo towers such as Lake Point Tower (which had 14 active listings Friday), 340 On The Park (13), The Heritage at Millennium Park (6), 600 N. Lake Shore Drive (23) and the John Hancock Center (25).
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Some of those buildings, such as the Hancock, have many more total units than the 468 in Trump Tower, too. Tuesday's data from the local multiple listing service shows 13 percent of the condos in Trump Tower are for sale.
It's unclear why so many people who own condos in Trump Tower are trying to sell right now. The tower has been the site of constant political protests and other events for months, but many of the Trump residents who recently put their homes on the market say neither Donald Trump nor the protests were factors in their decisions to sell.
"Not really, no," said Dr. S. Javed Shirazi, a south suburban oncologist who's asking $3.5 million for a three-bedroom condo on the tower's 66th floor. "It's just a change in lifestyle."
Jose Luis Prado, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Evan's Food, said his family is growing and needs to move out of the 40th-floor condo he's listing for $2.05 million. Kim Jones, a real estate agent who lives in the tower, said she plans to sell her combined two-unit condo for nearly $5.5 million so she can "downsize" to a smaller condo in the tower.
There are 62 condominiums for sale in Trump Tower. That's double or triple the number of listings in comparable buildings. [Shutterstock/VHT]
"It's the best building in the city to live in," Jones said.
But people trying to sell their their homes also tend not to volunteer anything negative.
The number of listings in Trump Tower is rising this spring as sales in the building fall. Lissner said 34 Trump condos changed hands last year, down from 56 sales in 2015. Among the Trump condos languishing on the market: the two-bedroom condo Blackhawks star Patrick Kane listed last year for $2.15 million.
"People have never really felt neutral about the Trump name," Lissner said, even when Trump was a relatively innocuous TV star pitching his 98-story tower on the Chicago River in the mid-2000s. Chicagoans were either attracted to or repelled by the Trump brand then, Lissner said. Feelings deepened when Trump put up a polarizing 20-foot-tall sign in 2014 and when he embarked on his run for the presidency.
The Tribune in late 2015 quoted several Trump residents who were "embarrassed" by their association with Trump.
At least one Trump owner said some of her neighbors are listing because they don't want to be associated with the Trump brand: Jacqueline Goldberg, a 90-year-old Evanston woman who lost a lawsuit to Trump in 2013 after accusing him of a "bait-and-switch."
Goldberg now is asking $2.5 million for her two-bedroom, 48th-floor condo in Trump Tower after listing it for $3.25 million last year.
"There has to be another reason why these things are on sale," Goldberg said. "I hate to think that it’s because [the tower's] got his name on it, but I can't see another reason."