SoHo Alliance loses appeal to stop Trump SoHo

BSA allows construction of the controversial hotel to go forward. In September 2007, the New York City Department of Buildings approved plans for the 42-story Trump SoHo condominium hotel, to be located at 246 Spring Street between Varick Street and Sixth Avenue. Because there is a general prohibition against residential developments in the area with the exception of transient hotels, Buildings’ approval required the developers to file a restriction against the property that would prohibit anyone from living in any of the Trump SoHo’s 413 units for more than 29 consecutive days in any 36-day period, or a total of about 120 days per calendar year.

The SoHo Alliance Community Group filed an appeal with BSA, arguing that Buildings’ approval should be revoked because people can still live in the Trump SoHo’s residential units for protracted periods of time for a significant portion of the year. Moreover, the Alliance argued that the restriction is unenforceable and prone to abuse. 4 CityLand 156 (Nov. 15, 2007).

Attorney Paul D. Selver of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, representing Trump SoHo developers Bayrock Group and Tamir Sapir, countered that the Trump SoHo units cannot be considered residential units because they are designed without amenities and facilities that residential units are required to have by law. 5 CityLand 27 (Mar. 15, 2008).

BSA upheld Buildings’ approval, finding it consistent with the zoning resolution’s definition of “transient,” with laws regulating hotel occupancy and construction, and with residency provisions in the federal and New York State tax code. BSA found that the Trump SoHo is intended for use as a transient hotel, and not a residence, as evidenced by its hotel-like common areas, front desk for check in and check out, prohibition on personal keys and personal furnishings, and lack of kitchens, individual mailboxes, or rubbish chutes. Lastly, BSA noted that an application cannot be revoked based on a potential future illegal use.

BSA: 246 Spring Street (247-07-A) (May 6, 2008) (Stuart A. Klein, for SoHo Alliance; Mark Davis, for DOB; Paul D. Selver, for Trump SoHo). CITYADMIN

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.