Photo of Trump SoHo via Trump Hotels
Trump SoHo, a $450 million, 46-story hotel condominium at 246 Spring Street, has suffered from a sharp decline in corporate event bookings and an increase in staff layoffs. Documents reviewed by WYNC show the once $700-per-night hotel now offers rooms for under $400 a night, less than most of the city’s five- and even four-star rated accommodations. Plus, managers plan on laying off 12 room attendants out of the hotel’s 80 total housekeeping staff and removing turn-down service. While last year the hotel booked 29 large corporate events between January and mid-May, this year just 11 events were booked, with fewer well-known names.
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Photo of Trump SoHo via Trump Hotels
As his administration finalizes its budget plan, Governor Cuomo wrote a letter Sunday to President Trump asking for emergency federal funds to lessen what he called Penn Station’s “summer of agony,” reports the Daily News. With six weeks of infrastructure repairs coming to the transit hub this July and August, the governor said the station’s daily flow of 600,000 passengers will face a 20 percent reduction in service during peak hours while Amtrak shuts down some of its tracks, which will then have a ripple effect on the subway system and regional transit.
Congress budget deal will reimburse NYC for Trump Tower security in ‘protection package’ split with Florida, Tue, May 2, 2017
Congress agreed to a budget deal Sunday night that allocates money to pay New York City back for funds spent on protecting Trump Tower, reports the New York Daily News. The bipartisan agreement creates a $68 million “protection package,” which will reportedly be split with Florida, where Trump’s Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago mansion serves as his vacation home.
As 6sqft reported recently, President Trump may include two major New York transportation projects in his proposed budget cuts, including the Gateway Program that would build a new train tunnel under the Hudson River and a program which extends the Second Avenue subway in Manhattan to East Harlem. The Gateway Program, which would add a much-needed second rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River and upgrade aging rail infrastructure in New York and New Jersey, has been relying on the federal government for half of its estimated $24 billion cost. WNYC reports that even if the funding is pulled, the agency may look to funding from a public-private partnership.
Earlier this year, President Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, hired two NY-based developers to head an infrastructure commission, which oversees spending on his proposed $1 trillion plan to improve the country’s bridges and roads. Despite this clear connection to the Big Apple, the president refuses to say whether he will include two major transportation projects for the city, both of which his proposed budget defunds, as the New York Times reported. As of now, Trump has proposed eliminating a program that would build a new train tunnel under the Hudson River and a program which extends the Second Avenue subway in Manhattan to East Harlem.
The uncertain political climate and anti-immigrant rhetoric following Donald Trump’s election caused a drop in tourism to New York from many countries, and notably, from Mexico. In an effort to repair its relationship, New York City and Mexico City renewed a city-to-city partnership this week to foster tourism between the two places. As Crain’s learned, NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism agency, collaborated with Mexico City’s Ministry of Tourism, to share best practices in tourism marketing and provide reciprocal promotional support. In Mexico City, billboards and bus shelters will declare “New York City- Le da la bienvenida al mundo,” which means “welcoming the world.”
With a federal budget proposal that strips significant funding to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s not so shocking that President Trump and his son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, both own buildings that rank as the least energy-efficient in New York City. The Daily News shared a new report from ALIGN, a coalition of labor and environmental activists, which found that Trump Tower uses more energy than 93 percent of the city’s large residential buildings. Worse, the Trump Organization’s Mayfair condo uses more than 98 percent. The report also revealed that a Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue (controversial for even more reasons as of late) uses more energy than 85 percent of large office buildings.
Despite the fact that Donald Trump received only 18 percent of presidential votes citywide, he’s getting a surprising show of NYC support when it comes to his $20 billion border wall. Crain’s reports that 11 New York-based firms, including contractors, architects, and “little-known small businesses,” have expressed interest in the project, seemingly undeterred by legislation proposed last month that would bar the city from signing contracts with companies involved in the wall. Though some of these applicants support Trump’s true intentions, others have taken a more creative approach, using the submission process as a way to support immigration and co-existence.
While the President has yet to visit Trump Tower since his inauguration, the price of protecting the First Lady and 10-year-old Barron costs the city an average of $136,000 per day, according to the NYPD. Congress offered only $7 million to reimburse the city for the $24 million the police department said they have spent protecting the building between the period of Trump’s election and his inauguration. However, as Crain’s learned, that payment is not guaranteed, and NYC may have to compete with New Jersey and Florida, both places the president frequents, for the money.
New York’s top elected officials, aware of the political leanings of their constituents, continue to be outspoken in their opposition to President Trump and his administration. As Crain’s reports, City Comptroller Scott Stringer serves as one of New York’s most vocal assailants on Trump, with 50 percent of his press releases written this month attacking the president’s policy proposals. In a report released this week, Stringer analyzed Trump’s proposed federal income tax law and found that it disproportionately benefits the highest-income earners in New York. If adopted, 40 percent of all single parents would see their taxes go up, compared to 90 percent of millionaires who would see a reduction, according to Stringer.
When Manhattan real estate mogul Michael Davis bought Donald Trump’s childhood home sight-unseen for just under $1.4 million in December, he had high hopes of flipping the Tudor-style residence in Jamaica Estates, Queens. Now, just three months later, the Times tells us that he’s done just that, re-selling it at auction last week for $2.14 million, more than double the neighborhood average. Interestingly, the transaction was facilitated by lawyer Michael Tang who specializes in real estate investments made by overseas Chinese buyers. Tang told the Times in an email that he was unable to disclose the name or any other information about the buyer, whose identity is being shielded behind the newly created LLC “Trump Birth House.”
As a symbol of resistance to the Trump administration, Chelsea-based contemporary art gallery BravinLee created a Kickstarter to raise $10,000 for an inflatable, 15-foot rat sporting a comb-over and an ill-fitting suit (complete with an inflatable piece of scotch tape to ensure his tie won’t blow in the wind) that will be placed outside Trump Tower. As the A.V. Club learned, artist Jeffrey Beebe was inspired by Scabby the Rat, the inflatable rat that attends union strikes to signal unfair and unsafe practices by management. With the deadline to fund “Trumpy the Rat” set for April 19, the project has raked in just over $5,500.
Smog covering the Empire State Building. New York, NY, US, November 21, 1953, LIFE Magazine.
Over Thanksgiving weekend in 1966, the layer of smog that hung above New York City killed about 200 people. An estimated 300–405 people died during a two-week smog episode in 1963. In 1953, as many as 260 died from breathing the city’s air over a six-day stretch.
6sqft reported recently on Donald Trump’s proposed budget and subsequent concerns about the impact significant funding cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency totaling $2.6 billion or 31 percent–including staff reductions and program eliminations–might have on the city’s drinking water and air quality. A spokesman for Mayor de Blasio assured us that these federal cuts won’t impact NYC’s high quality water supply. But what about the air?
Under President Trump’s first budget proposal, New York City will lose hundreds of millions of dollars for schools, housing, transportation, homeland security, and other city agencies. According to the Daily News, city schools and afterschool programs can be expected to lose $140 million, homeland security grants will be cut $190 million, and NYCHA will lose $370 million, which is on top of the $76 million cut they were already expecting. Ironically, the budget also slashes transit projects by $2 billion, which means completing projects like the Second Avenue Subway and the Gateway trans-Hudson River tunnel may be on the chopping block, despite the fact that they were specifically called out in Trump’s previous $1 trillion infrastructure plan to receive $14.2 billion and $12 billion respectively.
President Trump released his budget proposal Thursday that lays out his plan to bulk up defense and homeland security spending, and thereby dramatically cut funds to the Environmental Protection Agency (as well as foreign aid, the arts, and public broadcasting). As reported by amNewYork, these proposed EPA cuts, which total $2.6 billion or 31 percent, include staff reductions and program eliminations, which may make the city’s drinking water and air quality vulnerable to pollution.