The Trump Hotel in SoHo was supposed to be a crown jewel in the Trump family’s glittering empire. The venture was announced on The Apprentice a decade ago and was promoted by Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric Trump long before they set foot on Capitol Hill. But while the Trump family has managed to turn plenty of controversies into gold, they never managed the same trick in SoHo. The first company the Trump Organization partnered with on the project has defaulted, and while CIM Group stepped in just three years ago, already they want a buyout that would enable them to rebrand.
Located just three miles downtown of Trump Tower, Trump SoHo features a blend of hotel rooms and condominiums in an arty upscale part of Manhattan. It could have been a big hit, but it’s faced many woes. There were immediate protests, zoning squabbles, irate neighbors, a construction worker’s tragic death, and plenty of litigation. One lawsuit alleges the Trump Organization puffed up its sales figures, prompting a criminal investigation. The cherry on the sundae was the closing of the hotel restaurant, which never reopened.
Now a decade old, the place needs an update, but investors don’t see the point. In fact, some are part of the problem. One of the many lawsuits the hotel is tangled up in includes a case that alleges the property was financed by a Russian criminal. Now the very Trump name is hurting the place, too. Don Jr. and Eric, who were the face of the hotel when it opened, are now the ones in charge of the decision to let it go. It will be up to CIM to regroup and rebrand.
(Via: the New York Times)