We're less than two weeks away from the delayed opening of the Trump Soho condo-hotel, which means we're less than two weeks away from the residents of Soho forgetting about years of bitter legal challenges and accepting the new 46-story tower as a treasured member of the community. Wait, that's already happened? Indeed it has, according to Donald Trump Jr., who tells the Wall Street Journal that, "People who were initial detractors now realize the positive benefits the project will have on the area." While he didn't explain what those benefits are, surely the combination of bocce and bottle service is an important civic milestone. The WSJ also attempts to untangle the Trump Soho sales mystery, and it looks like the 55% figure has been adjusted for the first time in forever. Unfortunately for the developers, it's going in the wrong direction.
According to the paper, "about a third" of the 391 units are in contract, but it's anybody's guess as to how many of those will close due to the lockdown on loans for condo-hotel units. Quick refresher: Advertised prices have hovered around $3,000 per square foot despite the downturn and buyers can only occupy the units for 120 days per year due to pesky zoning restrictions. But here's some good news for the Trump Soho: The lender is not currently planning on foreclosing. Not quite uplifting enough? Er, then how about The Apprentice getting picked up again!
Meanwhile, New York architecture critic Justin Davidson decides to take a look at the newest Trump tower, and he's a bit bummed out that The Donald's "defiantly tasteless brand of glamour" didn't quite make it Downtown. (Give him a break; he didn't develop the building, after all.) Davidson writes that the Handel Architects-designed glass tower's biggest problem is that, "It could be almost anywhere, blankly reflecting anything." And as for those angry neighbors, their greatest fear didn't quite come true: "When Trump went public with his proposal, neighborhood activists argued that the hotel's height would alter the character of West Soho. But the finished building hardly seems to have any contact with the city at all—it just floats in front of its backdrop like a ham-fisted Photoshop job." Hey, that's what we've been saying!
· Glitz Masks Woes For Trump SoHo [WSJ]
· Taj Banal [NYM]
· Trump Soho coverage [Curbed]