e of claiming the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
In this month s issue, The Real Deal took a deep dive into Trump’s litigation history, focusing mostly on Manhattan real estate. We reviewed hundreds of cases filed in Manhattan courts between the early 1980s and last month that involved Trump or one of his business entities. The suits also offer a window into his temperament — beyond the campaign bluster — and into how he would conduct himself as the leader of the free world.
Below is the third web installment of a story that looks at decades of Trump’s legal battles and how he handled each one.
The Empire State Building brawl
At one point or another, Trump has owned part, or all, of The Plaza Hotel, the Grand Hyatt, the GM Building, Riverside South and the Empire State Building. But he’s gone multiple laps around the courthouse with his partners at each property.
In 1994, Trump acquired a 50 percent interest in the Empire State Building from Japanese billionaire Hideki Yokoi for a paltry $100,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. But his presence had a very strategic purpose: Yokoi’s daughter, who was fighting with her father over control of their iconic investment, wanted Trump to help break the lease. And what better way to do that than to sue?
Indeed, a partnership between the Malkin and Helmsley families controlled a 114-year lease on the Empire State Building, meaning almost all the profits from rent would go to them and not to the owners. That’s where Trump came in.
Trump was brought in to sue the Malkins and Helmsleys. And he did so in spectacular fashion, with a price tag of $100 million, claiming they had allowed the prized landmark to become “rodent-infested” and a “high-rise slum.”
The suit, which provided much fodder for New York’s press corps, was a bold attempt to break a lease that was set to run until the year 2076. The Helmsleys and Malkins fired back with a $100 million suit, in which they hit Trump where it hurts most: his image. “Trump has no meaningful financial resources of his own” and is “now known mostly as a celebrity,” the claim read.
Neither side got their $100 million, and Trump and Yokoi both sold their stakes to the Malkins in 2002.
“I think most people doubted that Trump’s lawsuit would go anywhere. It’s incredibly difficult to break a ground lease in New York,” said Hannigan, who represented Trump in the eventual sale.
Trump, however, had little to lose and a lot to gain. In addition to buying his stake at a nominal fee, he had negotiated a 爱上海同城手机版