By the way, Trump Soho will have a little company...
Barnett’s Hotel To Rival Trump SoHo
by Eliot Brown
October 14, 2008
The Trump SoHo may soon have some company.
Extell Development last month filed with the City Planning Department to build a hotel of up to 36 stories at 68-74 Charlton Street, just over two blocks from the Trump SoHo.
The Extell tower would surely join the Trump SoHo as an immediate presence on the skyline,
as Donald Trump and Alex Sapir’s 45-story hotel-condo sticks out between the high-rise districts of downtown and midtown like a telephone pole in the middle of a meadow. The surrounding former printing district of Hudson Square is filled with manufacturing-turned-office buildings that rise 10 or 12 stories, a fact that has led area residents to vehemently oppose the Trump SoHo.
Extell plans to have 300 rooms as part of a four-star hotel in its tower, run by a yet-to-be-determined operator, according to Extell spokesman George Arzt. The Lucien Lagrange-designed building, to be named the Charlton SoHo, would have a plaza at its base, a feature that would give the tower bonus development rights (Mr. Arzt said it will be 34 stories high).
Unlike the Trump SoHo, which offers buyers a controversial option to purchase a share of a room for a portion of the year, Mr. Arzt said the Extell building would be a pure hotel (the zoning allows for tall hotels; not condo towers). Extell, led by former diamond trader Gary Barnett, does not need any discretionary zoning approvals for the site—just a certification from the City Planning Commission that its plaza qualifies the project for the bonus development rights.
However, there are signs that Hudson Square’s tall hotel party may soon come to an end. A spokeswoman for City Planning said the agency has met with local elected officials and agrees with the community sentiment that the zoning needs to be reviewed in order to preserve the mixed-use character of the neighborhood.
Should there indeed be a zoning change that restricts future building heights after Extell’s hotel goes up, it would mark the second instance in Manhattan where Extell has a tower forever taller than the neighborhood. Mr. Barnett’s Ariel East and Ariel West towers at 100th Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side spawned a new height cap for the area of 145 feet, about 22 stories below the top of the taller Ariel tower.