Opposition to Planned Trump Organization Hotel in Dallas

There is opposition to a proposed new Dallas hotel operated by the organization owned by President Donald Trump.

The new "Scion" brand is a smaller boutique hotel concept from the Trump organization.

Developer Alterra Worldwide, headed by Turkish investor Mike Sarimsakci, has notified Downtown Dallas Inc. of the plan for a 220-room hotel on the half-city block along the east side of St. Paul Street between Young and Wood streets.

"This is an investor that's coming in here like anybody else, and looking at downtown as a great opportunity for the future, and that's what we like to see," said John Crawford, vice president of Downtown Dallas Inc.

The president's family took over operation of his investments when he was sworn in, but he maintained ownership.

Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston said he is completely opposed to the project.

Kingston claims investors for the development are being recruited in foreign countries which are hostile to the U.S.

"How can we then trust the president, who is the chief foreign policy officer of the United States, to deal with our enemies, if he is making money from them?" Kingston said.

The project site is located near several older buildings which are under renovation, including the former Statler Hilton Hotel. Across Young Street from the Scion site, Alterra is currently renovating the Butler Building into two Marriott brand hotels, due to open in May.

"We don't have any old buildings left anymore," Crawford said. "So now what you're beginning to see is new construction coming into the downtown area, which we think is certainly a good thing."

The Scion property is currently surface parking lots beside the First Presbyterian Church downtown.

The church is not taking sides on the possible Trump presence, which Kingston is fighting.

"I would not like to see that hotel come here," Kingston said.

The councilman is not the only critic. A demonstration against the hotel was staged at the site Thursday.

The city of Dallas has not yet issued any permits for construction at the site.

Alterra Worldwide did not return e-mail messages to the company Friday.

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