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

Carter's View

The New York City Department of Buildings has approved plans for the "condo-hotel" at 246 Spring Street that will be known as the Trump SoHo Hotel.

Many local politicians and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation had argued 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 and will be the tallest between Madison Square and the Civic Center in Lower Manhattan.

The project will 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. A stop work order was issued by the city in December after human remains were unearthed during excavation, but the order was subsequently lift.

According to Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the developers signed a voluntary "restrictive declaration" with the city last week 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 coalition is "contemplating legal action to overturn it."

His organization issued a press release today that said that "Opponents claim 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."

"If you own a condo and are living in it for four months of the year, that's a second home, not a transient hotel," Mr. Berman declared, adding that "The restrictive declaration is a sham, a fig leaf designed to cover up the obscene decision of allowing this 45-story monstrosity where the law clearly prohibits it."

The proposed project is close to several new residential condominium projects to the west on Spring Street.

A 740-square-foot one-bedroom unit with one-and-a-half baths will have a living room that measures 15 feet 8 inches by 12 feet, a "guest room" that measures 14 feet 9 inches by 11 feet 6 inches and a main bathroom that measures 9 feet 5 inches by 15 feet 11 inches.

A 532-square-foot studio unit has a "guest room" that measures 16 feet 10 inches by 13 feet 6 inches and a bathroom that measures 16 feet 6 inches by 8 feet 9 inches.

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 "the latest technology is also included with a flat-screen television, 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.

A brochure for the project indicatged it will be part of the reservation system of The Leading Hotels of the World.
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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.