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Trump SoHo Buyers Sue Donald Trump, Developers Over Sales Claims

By DNAinfo Staff on August 3, 2010 3:54pm

The Trump SoHo building at 246 Spring Street.
The Trump SoHo building at 246 Spring Street.
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By Yepoka Yeebo

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Trump SoHo buyers have reportedly accused the developers of the Spring Street building of fraud in a $1.8 million lawsuit.

Developers of the hotel-condominium have been accused of lying to 15 buyers about how many apartments had already been sold in a complaint filed in Manhattan's Federal District Court Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The suit names developers the Bayrock Group and the Sapir Organization, as well as Donald Trump, according to the Journal. Trump is not an investor in the project but allowed them to use his name for an 18 percent stake in the development, the paper reported.

"The Trump Organization is not the developer of the project but merely the manager of the hotel, which has done exceedingly well since opening four months ago," Trump said in a statement, according to Reuters.

"Despite this, I know that numerous people have closed on their units and this case is simply a matter of buyer's remorse."

The suit also names Trump's children Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

The buyers said they were told 30 to 60 percent of the units on the 46-story building had sold, when actual sales were closer to 15 percent, the New York Post reported.

They are suing to cancel their contracts and have their deposits returned after a filing with the state Attorney General's Office revealed the true sales.

“[The defendants] had a concerted and consistent pattern of lying about the numbers of units sold,” William J. Geller, the lawyer representing the buyers told the New York Times.

Geller told the paper his clients would not have bought their six apartments if they had known.

“They never would have signed contracts if they knew only 10 percent of the units were sold, instead of the 50 or 60 percent they were told,” he said, according to the Times.

Under zoning laws, residents can only stay in the apartments at 246 Spring Street for 120 days a year, the rest of the time the apartments, which start at $1.2 million for a studio, are hotel suites.