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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

The Board of Standards & Appeals held a hearing this morning on challenges to the issuance of building permits for the Trump SoHo project at 246 Spring Street on the grounds that it is a transient hotel that is not permitted under zoning at that location.

Construction on the building has not been completed but its superstructure, now about 40 stories high, is already a major unofficial landmark that can be seen from midtown looking south on the Avenue of the Americas.

A Trump representative told the board that the "condo-hotel" does not have mailboxes and its guest rooms do not have cooking facilities.

The challenges were brought by the SoHo Alliance and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, two civic organizations that have argued that purchasers of the condo-hotel units can live there four months a year and therefore cannot be considered "transient."

The board is expected to make a decision May 6.

The civic organizations argue that the 454-foot-high project is a residential hotel and is not permitted in a manufacturing zone, where transient hotels are permitted.

The building will have 410 hotel condominium units and three suites.

When completed, the building would be the tallest between Madison Square and the Civic Center in Lower Manhattan. The project have an outdoor swimming pool on the top floor of its five-story base, a Cornelia Spa, a restaurant and catering facility.

The project has frontage on Spring, Varick and Dominick Streets and is not far from the Holland Tunnel and the Hudson River Park.

The coalition that campaigned against the project charged that it violated manufacturing zoning for the site that explicitly prohibits residential uses, maintaining that the developers advertised the project as a "residence."

The property, which was acquired in September, 2005, by Bayrock/Sapir LLC, a partnership of the Bayrock Group, Tamir Sapir and Donald Trump, had been a parking lot and apparently several decades before it had been the site of a Presbyterian Church.

After a worker fell to his death recently, a stop work order was issued by the Department of Buildings that affects work that would add more floors than now exist.

According to Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the developers signed a voluntary "restrictive declaration" with the city that permits owners of condominiums in the project to live in their units a maximum of four months a year. "This is a blatant violation of the zoning," Mr. Berman declared, adding that "the four month limit will be virtually impossible to enforce, and in fact many owners will use this as their primary, year-round residence."

Purchase price of the rooms includes furnishings that will be designed by David Rockwell of The Rockwell Group that includes "leather-cushioned custom designed beds with full-height headboard," marble flooring in entryways, two-person tubs and separate glass-enclosed showers, "a bar area set in contemporary wood-veneer cabinets," "discrete appliances," and a flat-screen televisions, DVD and CD players and connections for high-speed Internet access. Purchasers will also have in each unit a private locked closet to keep personal belongings between stays and a safe. Purchasers will have 24-hour room service, access to the fitness center and space, and "may also enjoy evening turndown service, garment care" and concierge service.
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Additional Info About the Building

Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.