Trump Plaza Demolition to Cost $13.2MNovember 22, 2017 2:16 pm
Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor who last year bought the shuttered Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, has now received preliminary approval by the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) for a $5.6 million payment towards the $13.2 million cost of demolishing the casino.
On Tuesday, the state governmental agency responsible for the spending of casino reinvestment funds in projects to the benefit of Atlantic City gave its initial decision, with its chairman, Robert Mulcahy III, stating:
“We all feel the demolition of this tower is in the best interest of Atlantic City. It’s part of the gateway into the city. That land could be very valuable.”
Funds for the demolition are covered using a 1.25% CRDA Investment Alternative Tax (IAT) that Atlantic City casinos pay each year on their gross gaming revenue. Once released to Carl Icahn, the money will subsequently be used to raze a 39-story hotel tower, as well as the casino, restaurants, and theatre located on the three-acre plot of land. Commenting upon the application, Nick Talvacchia, an attorney for Icahn, stated:
“You’re taking down a building seen as a potential impediment for future development.”
Not everyone feels that the CRDA should have stumped up the money to support the demolition project, though, and amongst the agency board members casting negative votes was Caesars Entertainment executive Kevin Ortzman, and Mayor Don Guardian, who stated:
“I agree this project needs to come down. But why are they asking us for $5.6 million? You’re already responsible for the project closing and the loss of jobs and the suffering the city has gone through.”
The Trump Plaza was originally built for $210 million by a company owned by Donald Trump, with the casino opening for business back in 1984. The property was built on prime Boardwalk land lying at the end of the city’s main entrance, with Trump at the time marketing the gambling venue as being at “the center of it all.” By 2014, however, Atlantic City’s gambling market began to wane, and so the venue subsequently closed down at a loss of 1,300 local jobs, following in the footsteps of the now defunct Atlantic Club, Showboat, and Revel casinos.