Trump Plaza’s two towers will be imploded, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. announced in a Thursday news conference in front of the shuttered hotel and casino resort.
The owner of the property, New York billionaire businessman Carl Icahn, has recently submitted a plan to tear it down with city officials.
Trump Plaza opened doors in 1984 to join a host of glitzy resorts spread along the Atlantic City Boardwalk. US President Donald Trump owned the property at the time.
In 2014, Trump Plaza became one of the four casino-hotels to close doors as Atlantic City was grappling with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and with the increased regional casino competition.
Since its closure, Trump Plaza’s fate has been subject to rife speculation and war of words between property owners and Atlantic City leaders.
During his unofficial State of the City address this past January, Mayor Small said that he wanted to see Trump Plaza torn down and that the shuttered casino-hotel was “an embarrassment” and “the biggest eyesore in town.”
In March, Mayor Small’s administration sought a court order for the demolition of the nearly 40-year-old building. City leaders turned to court after pieces of Trump Plaza’s facade tore loose and crashed to the sidewalk during a windstorm.
Atlantic City building department officials and firefighters inspected the building after the incident and established that it was an imminent risk to public safety and posed threat to the surrounding area.
In April, a Superior Court Judge ordered IEP AC Plaza LLC, a subsidiary of Mr. Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises business empire, to present a demolition plan for the closed property within 45 days.
The Demolition Plan
According to the demolition plan produced by Mr. Icahn, both towers of the casino resort will be torn down. Only Rainforest Cafe and the property’s parking garage will be spared.
Previous discussions involved demolition of the main tower only. The east tower, the one above Rainforest Cafe, would have remained. However, Mayor Small said Thursday that under the recently submitted plan both towers would be imploded.
Atlantic City’s top official said that the demolition timeline is the only issue that remains. The mayor noted that the property’s owners plan to tear it down by mid-2021.
Mayor Small’s administration wants Trump Plaza demolished by the end of 2020 or February 2021. According to city leaders, bringing the resort down next year was not acceptable because the demolition could fall during the busy summer tourist vacations season.
Mayor Small noted that if the demolition takes place by February, there would be enough time for cleanup for the next summer season.
The original demolition cost was estimated to be $14 million. However, Mayor Small said that he expects the cost to be more as initial plans had involved implosion of the main tower only.
Trump Plaza’s owners said earlier this year that they had hired a demolition project manager and that the building could go down within the next two years.
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