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Trump Organization walks away from struggling Trump SoHo hotel 

Trump Organization walks away from struggling Trump SoHo hotel 
The Trump Organization has been paid to walk away from its prized Trump SoHo hotel, severing a management contract and ending the company’s ties to the struggling Manhattan establishment. A deal was reached on Wednesday in which CIM Group, the California-based investment company which owns the building, bought the Trump Organization out of the remainder of their contract to manage the hotel. The buyout means that, at the end of December, the Trump Organization will walk away. CIM will then be entitled to rebrand the hotel and try and turn its fortunes around. In May the hotel was slashing its room rates and preparing to lay off staff. And, across the organisation, room rates at Trump hotels have fallen by 63 per cent since the election, it was reported this week. The New York Times, which first reported the sale, said the price of the buyout was not known. Donald Trump in April 2010, at the opening of Trump SoHo “Under the seasoned management of the Trump Organization, the hotel has been established as one of the finest in New York City with recognition among top critics, including CondeNast Traveler Magazine and Forbes Travel Guide,” said Bill Doak, a CIM executive, in a statement. “We recognise and sincerely appreciate their contributions to this exceptional asset and the strong working relationship we have with the Trump Organization.” The Trump Organization did not respond to The Telegraph’s request for comment. But the ending of the deal marks an embarrassment for the Trump Organization, which opened the hotel to great fanfare in 2010. From the beginning, the project was beset by controversy: in 2007 protesters staged noisy demonstrations outside the construction site, claiming that the 46-storey black skyscraper violated zoning laws. Holding placards reading: “Dump Trump” and “Don’t comb over here”, they jeered as Donald Trump held a press conference to promote the building. “I want to thank the protesters outside for helping to make this job so successful,” said Mr Trump. “I don’t know if they can hear me, perhaps not, but I hope they can.” He continued: “The Trump SoHo is a very, very special building.  “It’s by far the tallest building in SoHo. It is going to have by far the best views.” Inside the Trump SoHo hotel Even after it was opened, the problems continued. In November 2011, the Trumps and other defendants paid 90 per cent of $3.16 million (£2.4m) in deposits to settle claims from buyers of condominium units that Mr Trump, his children and others had inflated sales figures in what turned out to be a struggling project.  The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, was pursuing a criminal investigation into the same issue, The New York Times reported last year. Prosecutors felt they had enough evidence to build a case, but Mr Vance overruled his lawyers, it was reported last month. At the same time, a separate lawsuit alleged that the project was backed by felons and financing from Russia. Felix Sater, a Russian deal maker, felon and FBI informant, had helped facilitate the deal, the lawsuit said. Donald Trump, Tevfik Arif (centre) and Felix Sater (right) attend the Trump SoHo launch party on September 19, 2007 in New York In 2014, after the Trumps’ prior partners defaulted on a loan, CIM took over. But the issues did not end there: in April the exclusive sushi restaurant inside the hotel, Koi, announced it was closing its doors owing to a downturn in trade. A new restaurant was not opened in the space until this week. Yet while the Trump SoHo struggled, other Trump properties have been exceeding expectations since he was elected president. The company’s hotel in Washington DC has become a favourite spot for Republican lobbyists and power players, and turned nearly $2 million profit in the first quarter this year, records show. His other hotel in Manhattan has fared better than the SoHo, and Mar-a-Lago doubled its joining fees in January. His golf courses are also benefitting from the free publicity. Despite attacking Barack Obama for playing too much golf and saying he, if elected, would be far too busy to play, Mr Trump has visited one of his golf clubs on average every 4.3 days, according to TrumpGolfCount – a site which monitors his golf trips.

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