Friday, April 14, 2017

Developer could switch out Trump Hotels brand for another option in Dallas

A Turkish-based developer could switch out the hotel flag on a planned project near Dallas City Hall in downtown Dallas for a less controversial option, a city council member says.

The developer behind a planned $50 million, 220-room boutique hotel along Young Street — Mike Sarimsakci — could swap out a hotel flag from the New York City-based Trump Hotels with a different operator, said Philip Kingston, a Dallas city councilman that oversees District 14.
"He's continuing with the project, he's just not partnering with the Trump organization," Kingston told the Dallas Business Journal."It's the same concept, but with a different operator."

Kingston recently met with Sarimsakci about plans for the hotel, which Kingston and fellow city councilman Adam Medrano opposed the proposed Scion flag, which is the latest concept by Trump Hotels, which is the hotel management company tied to President Donald Trump.

"The president is a bad brand for Dallas," Kingston said. "I think this is a big win for Dallas. We avoid the bad brand of the president in town, but, again, it's not slowing down the pace of development right now to be thoughtful of the brands we seek in Dallas."

Sarimsakci, managing partner of Alterra International, had a letter-of-intent with the Trump Hotels organization, but allegedly told Kingston he could swap out the flag for the project if it meant the city councilman wouldn't oppose him applying for or receiving tax increment financing fund.

A new brand has yet to be mentioned and Sarimsakci has not returned repeated interview requests.

If Sarimsakci switches hotel brands, Kingston said it's because of the criticism of himself and Medrano, along with protests from Indivisible DFW, whose stated mission is to "build an inclusive coalition to fight the rise of tyranny in America."
Mayor Mike Rawlings, a Democrat, certainly had nothing to do with these conversations, Kingston said, adding, "The mayor is against us as he is all matters of righteousness."

Recently, Rawlings told the Dallas Business Journal he wasn't excited about the prospect of a Trump-affiliated hotel being in Dallas, but he couldn't stop the project based on his own political beliefs.

“I’ve been very supportive of any development that’s good for the city even though I’m not politically geared that way," Rawlings told the DBJ.

Meanwhile, Trump Hotels could put other flags in North Texas, which is a region that has been earmarked by the hotel company for expansion.

The company has previously told the DBJ they are looking for development sites to bring four- and five-star concepts to the region. Trump Hotels declined to comment on would-be hotel sites.

"We take our relationships with partners and potential partners very seriously and we keep the specifics of our business dealings private," said a Trump Hotels spokeswoman.

Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal.