11 years ago, on the fifth season of “The Apprentice, Donald Trump promised that his newest hotel in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood would be “an awe-inspiring masterpiece.” Now, with Trump in the White House, his business is pulling out of the 46-story hotel.
On Wednesday, The Trump Organization announced that it would be withdrawing from the Trump SoHo hotel by the end of 2017, joining a hotel in Toronto as the second establishment to erase Trump’s name from the building.
According to The New York Times, Trump SoHo has been forced to drop room rates and struggled to sell condos, and in April, the hotel’s restaurant closed down in part due to a drop in business since Trump won the election.
Trump SoHo was promoted heavily during “The Apprentice,” with the Season 5 winner, Sean Yazbeck, choosing to oversee construction of the building as his prize for winning the show. The building was completed in 2010, but was met with protests from local residents who claimed the hotel would break zoning rules.
That was only the beginning of the building’s problems. In 2011, the Trump Organization settled a lawsuit from the building’s condo owners claiming that the company had inflated sales figures on the project.
In October, an investigative report by ProPublica, the New Yorker and WNYC revealed that Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. were targets of a felony investigation about whether they intentionally misled prospective buyers. No charges were filed.
Then, during the presidential campaign, a lawsuit was filed claiming that Trump SoHo was backed by financing from Russian oligarchs.
Earlier this year, the Times reported that a business associate of Trump who helped finance the hotel, Felix Sater, sent emails promising to complete a Trump Tower in Moscow with the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin that he said would help Trump win the presidency.
While some of Trump’s businesses are struggling during his presidency, others are still doing well. His Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, and his hotel in Washington, D.C., continue to earn big revenues, thanks in large part to gatherings sponsored by Republican organizations.
Check out the announcement of Trump SoHo on “The Apprentice” in the clip above.
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