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A Tiny Bit of Trump

We all know what day it is tomorrow. We all know how exhausting this election season has been, regardless of which side you're on. Here we remain officially impartial, of course, but given that one of our candidates tomorrow is rather known for his real estate ventures, we thought the below to be a fun, no-pressure, and not particularly politically inclined read about Mr. Trump. Courtesy of this week's guest blogger - our managing director, James Moss - read on: 

Trump's Math Takes His Towers to Greater Heights - But He Is Not The First!

Developers of tall buildings have always wanted the tallest they can get and Mr. Trump is an expert - but he is not the first!

Maybe it's ego or just to enhance marketing - more the former and a bit of the latter? The Manhattan skyline offers more opportunities than most cities with its high concentration of skyscrapers and complex ownership structures.

Eight of Mr. Trump's Manhattan building have managed to grow a few extra floors, to as many as 10 and in one instance by 20 additional floors (see chart, via the New York Times).

Trump skyscrappers math.jpg

Do they actually physically grow? Well no. It's a bit of smoke and mirrors and a touch or two of grandiosity - not unknown in New York developer circles.

It's all to do with labelling and to some extent in the reworking of floor-to-ceiling heights and of course pure marketing! Everyone wants to live in a taller skyscraper apparently.

So how do they do it?

The removal of the unlucky 13th floor is well known. It becomes the 14th. Add a floor.

Basements offer a lot of play on naming floors. Add some more numbers.

Refurbishing tall buildings often creates opportunities to rearrange floor-to-ceiling heights, rework old atriums, palazzi's and the such. Mezzanine floors can be added. Add some more floor numbers.

How do you know how many floors there are in tall buildings? Most people look at the elevators.

Elevators offer some unique opportunities in themselves. In Trump Tower in SoHo, for example, there are 42 floors, but the elevators go up to 46.

Or just pick a number and work backwards.

At Trump World Tower on the East Side, technically the building is 70 floors and 843ft (Buildings Department records); however, the building was marketed at 90 floors and 900ft. Mr. Trump arrived at 90 floors by dividing the towers purported height of 900ft by 10 feet floor-to-ceiling heights, saying this was standard at the time. Inconveniently, the apartments were also advertised as having higher-than-usual ceilings. Oh well.

"I could have gone higher than 90 stories" he told the NY Times in 2003. "I chose 90 because I thought it was a good number."

In New York there's no legal requirement to tie the building floor numbers to the actual floors the buildings have, except in official documents according to "Business Insider."

Our favourite, though, is in Hong Kong where 8 is the luckiest number. The developer's building is 46 storeys. The top floor is the 88th.

Credit: New York Times. Vivian Yee NOV. 1, 2016  A version of this article appears in print on November 2, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: By Fudging Math, Trump Takes His Towers to Greater Heights.  Click here for the full article.

Tags: Fun, New York Times, News

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