The SoHo Alliance isn’t done fighting the quick-to-rise Trump SoHo. The watchdog group has filed a request with the city’s Board of Standard and Appeals to revoke Donald Trump‘s Department of Buildings permit to construct a condominium-hotel at 246 Spring Street, said Sean Sweeney, the director of the alliance.
Mr. Sweeney said that they are not fighting the height of the building, nor its use as a hotel. They object to the violation of zoning regulations in SoHo, which do not permit the construction of residential spaces, he said.
“(Trump) is trying to introduce a transient hotel as a Trojan horse for a residential building in the neighborhood,” Mr. Sweeney told The Observer yesterday.
Under the DOB’s current approval of Mr. Trump’s 42-story project, owners may only stay in Trump SoHo for a continuous period of 29 days in a 36-day period. Stays must not exceed 120 days in any calendar year. The request to BSA from the SoHo Alliance calls the proposed enforcement of this regulation a “sham”.
“How are you going to enforce how long somebody is living in a room?” Mr. Sweeney said. “Why would the management report it? We think [it] is bogus.”
Mr. Sweeney said that if BSA does not decide in their favor, they will take the case to the New York Supreme Court. The BSA generally does not reverse the decisions of the DOB. (The Observer has a call out to the Trump Organization for comment on the SoHo Alliance’s action.)
“Trump is arrogantly thumbing his nose at the community and he has to be taught a lesson. That’s the goal. To slap Donald Trump across the face,” Mr. Sweeney said.
Still, he admits that the progress on the construction makes it harder to fight this battle, and to raise funding for his efforts. Mr. Trump–along with his three oldest children and one of his partners on the project, Alex Sapir, president of the Sapir Organization–officially launched Trump SoHo on Sept. 19; and several stories of the tower are completed.
Still, Mr. Sweeney is hopeful about the possible benefits of the fight.
“If this one building has to be built, so be it," he said. "Will Trump have to change his marketing? Yes, that’s what we hope for. And will other developers follow suit? That’s our hope."
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said the firm had no comment.