Donald Trump: PrezBo is “A Total Moron”

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An unexpected member of the Manhattanville resistance.

This morning, we happened upon a letter that Donald Trump, real estate mega-mogul, wrote to the Eye (!) in response that ten zillion word piece about PrezBo. His letter, a tirade against PrezBo and his real estate choices, included a handwritten note at the bottom: “Bollinger is terrible!” But how could anyone hate El Presidente?!

Trump is so very, very angry at PrezBo because Columbia was planning to buy land around Lincoln Center until Bollinger became president in 2002 and nixed the idea (But I mean, really, that’s even farther from Hamilton than Westside, Mr. Trump!). Trump owned that land and was apparently close to a deal with ailing Alfred Lerner when PrezBo stepped in and turned his sights on West Harlem for expansion.

Trump spoke to graduated Speccie Joy Resmovits at the WSJ and explained: “They could still have a beautiful campus, right behind Lincoln Center.” There is, in fact, already a college right behind Lincoln Center, but no matter.

PrezBo doesn’t have time for this. His comment, which may sound familiar: “All I can say is that we now have far more property for far less money in an area we care about and is proximate to our existing campuses, which is critically important to great academic research and teaching. The contiguous property has been rezoned and is ready to begin the process of creating the first new Columbia campus in approximately a century.”

More excerpts from Trump’s angry letter after the jump.

Columbia University had a great opportunity to build one of its finest and most spectacular campuses anywhere in the world…It would have given Columbia large acreage, fronting the Hudson River between 59th and 62nd Street directly behind Lincoln Center. It was [Alfred Lerner’s] vision to build Columbia’s Business School and School of Performing Arts there, and what a vision it would have been…

The new President of Columbia, Lee Bollinger, who came in from the University of Michigan, didn’t like the idea. Instead, he wanted to build Columbia’s new buildings in a lousy location on land which, in certain instances, he did not even own. Once the project was announced, it became virtually impossible to acquire the holdings because everybody wanted top dollar. He actually announced his project before buying the land—dummy!

In any event, Columbia Prime was a great idea thought of by a great man which ultimately fizzled due to poor leadership at Columbia. Just like the University of Michigan was lucky to get rid of Bollinger, so will be Columbia – someday in the future!

Photo via Flickr

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  1. donal trump

    reminds me of gail wynand

  2. cc'10

    hahah the tag "battle of hairdos" is epic

  3. prez bo = the man

    trump is only angry because columbia didn't purchase HIS land. what an arrogant asshole.

  4. What's

    this about someone being assaulted in Riverside Park? The woman was "found by a passerby" after being assaulted, so it sounds fairly serious.

  5. I did

    heartily lawl at "PrezBo doesn't have time for this shit".

  6. Well,

    I grant that Trump is angry about the fact that he didn't profit from the expansion, but I for one think that some of his criticisms are valid. It is simply true that Lincoln Center would have been a superior location for a Performing Arts school, and a far better place for a Business School than the chosen alternative. One can hardly claim that Manhattanville is an especially convenient launching pad for an aspiring executive with his/her sights set on Wall Street.

    • Alum

      The B-School's new location in Manhattanville is a lot closer to Wall Street than are the sites of the B-schools at Harvard, Penn, Stanford, et al. And if prosimity to Wall Street really mattered, why would 62nd Street be good enough if 125th Street isn't?

      What really matters is proximity to the rest of Columbia. The B-School faculty interacts a great deal with professors in economics, SIPA, law, IE/OR and a variety of other programs. Its students cross-register and pursue joint degrees. They use other divisions' libraries, just as other students use the B-School's. All of this would be lost if the school moved too far away.

      On top of that, B-School students live in apartments on Morningside Heights, just as B-School professors live in faculty housing nearby. They all use Dodge Gym, rely on campus health services, etc. Columbia would have had to duplicate all of this if the school moved 50-plus blocks south, just as is has had to provide the same services at the medical center 50 blocks to the north.

      The same principles apply to the arts school. Being near Lincoln Center might help the theater program, but how would it help visual arts, film or writing? Even theatre wouldn't gain all that much from mere proximity; after all, Fordham doesn't exactly dominate the field, while the top-rated program at Yale is over 50 miles away.

  7. Um

    Presbo's toupee would beat the shit out of Trump's in a heartbeat.

  8. Anonymous

    so a part of the manhattanville expansion is building a new business school? What is the plan for the old building? I hope they tear it down...

    • Alum

      Tearing down Uris would not be practical, so we're stuck with it. It will be renovated and used for the Arts & Sciences, which need more space on the main campus. I expect social sciences to get most or all of it, while the humanities will gain Dodge along with the new space they have already received at UTS.

      The B-School's half of Warren Hall will go to the Law School, which already has the other half.

      • alum

        It hasn't been decided yet. It might be used for as another building for SEAS.

        • Alum

          That seems unlikely. Uris wasn't built to hold labs; its floors aren't strong enough to support heavy equipment, and its ceilings aren't high enough to accommodate all the HVAC, plumbing, wiring, etc. that such labs would require. It's structural supports probably are much closer together than they would be in a modern lab building, which would limit the types of equipment it could accommodate. Maybe it could house some engineering professors who don't need labs, like those who teach operations research or applied math. Some computer science professors might be able to work there, too. The building just isn't suitable for the rest of SEAS.

  9. Looks like

    Prezbo side stepped a hair situation.

  10. russki

    bollinger to trump, ca. 2002: "you're fired.

    ...and, btw, you are a petty, cruel tyrant."

  11. seems like the

    manhattanville expansion is mostly opposed by selfish millionaires who have economic interests in columbia not building land there, as opposed to the actual residents of the affected communities. by no means is bollinger a terribly compassionate guy, but i think it's very telling when trump says "He actually announced his project before buying the land—dummy!" I see that more as a mark of integrity, but maybe that's just me.

  12. Anonymous

    sounds like Trump's mad Prezbo didn't buy his land

  13. Also

    If the campuses were seperated by that much space Columbia would have to provide extra shuttle service. Imagine taking a Columbia shuttle from 64th street to 168th street on Broadway. That'd be hellish.

  14. ...  

    why pay market rates for trump's land when you can get the government to force people to sell to you on the cheap?

    • Anonymous

      you do realize that Columbia bought most of the land (except for that of the two owners') without eminent domain? and that the land acquired through eminent domain will be paid for at market rates?

      (of course, the two holdouts don't want to sell at the market rate or whatever Columbia offered, but... your whole statement reeks of ignorance... sad)

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