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NYC upholds $10,000 fine against Trump Tower over public space

Visitors sit in the lobby of Trump Tower

Visitors sit in the lobby of Trump Tower on April 8, 2016. Credit: AP / Beth Harpaz

New York City has upheld a $10,000 fine it levied against Trump Tower — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s flagship property in Manhattan — for misuse of its public atrium.

The Fifth Avenue mixed-use skyscraper, where Trump keeps his office, faces the aggravated penalty for being too slow to replace a bench that it had removed to make room for kiosks that sold Trump label memorabilia, a city Department of Buildings spokesman said Wednesday.

The lack of bench for the public and the installation of the kiosks were violations of city rules over privately owned public space, or POPS, that the Trump Organization agreed to decades ago in exchange for building the tower larger than was permitted.

Tower managers removed the kiosks after a notice of violation but didn’t put back the bench until this month.

The city Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings with an Aug. 12 decision rejected a Trump Organization appeal of the $10,000 fine, which the Department of Buildings said follows an initial $6,500 penalty.

A Trump campaign spokeswoman and Trump Organization spokesman did not return requests for comment.

“The building owner removed kiosks and replaced a bench that’s required to be in the atrium; as a result, the owner is now in compliance with the POPS agreement he made with the city,” city Department of Buildings spokesman Joseph Soldevere said in a statement. “However, the owner must still pay the $10,000 penalty levied earlier this year.”

Trump Tower also has been under city investigation over whether it improperly closed its lobby to the public so the Trump campaign could hold events and news conferences.


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