Trump Plaza Set for Demolition in Atlantic City, Property Liquidation Underway

Posted on: November 2, 2017, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: November 2, 2017, 10:44h.

Trump Plaza is reportedly on the chopping block in Atlantic City, as Mayor Don Guardian (R) told the Press of Atlantic City this week that plans are in place to demolish the Boardwalk property formerly owned by President Donald Trump.

Trump Plaza demolition Carl Icahn
The Trump name was removed from Trump Plaza when it closed in 2014, and soon the building will come down, too. (Image: Vernon Ogrodnek/Associated Press)

Trump Plaza sits on some of the most prime real estate in all of Atlantic City. The expressway arrives in town right at the Plaza’s doors, and its immediate neighbor south is Boardwalk Hall, with Caesars to the north.

Currently owned by billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn, who acquired the property in 2016 when he purchased Trump Entertainment Resorts out of bankruptcy, isn’t saying what the future might hold for the small three-acre plot of land where the main building sits. Trump Plaza was the fourth and final Atlantic City casino to close in 2014.

Guardian did reveal that the property’s north tower across Columbia Place, and the large parking garage in the rear across Pacific Avenue, will likely remain.

Going Down History

For over three decades, Trump Plaza has graced the Boardwalk. But in recent years, it’s been a powerful reminder of the recent recession.

Should Hillary Clinton opt to make another run at the White House, she’ll need to find a new backdrop when visiting the tourism destination. The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate held a rally on the Boardwalk in front of the shuttered resort, the former first lady denouncing her opponent and asking, “How can anyone lose money running a casino?”

Well, many have in Atlantic City, and that includes Icahn, who doesn’t typically lose.

The billionaire sold Trump Taj Mahal in May for just $50 million to Hard Rock International, which plans to reimagine the property into a rock ‘n’ roll-themed casino. Icahn said he lost $350 million owning and operating the Taj.

At Trump Plaza, the South Jersey Times reports this week that a contractor has been hired to clean out the rooms, and auction houses have purchased various items that will be sold at a later date. After the building is free of furniture and decorations, a testing and subsequent asbestos removal process will need to be completed. All told, Atlantic City Department of Licensing and Inspections Director Dale Finch believes the building could fall in as little as four months.

Demolition expenses vary depending on the difficulty of the explosion, the Riviera costing $42 million to take down in 2016.

About That Land

Icahn reportedly tried to entice Hard Rock into also buying the Plaza this year, but the company owned by the Seminole Tribe in Florida passed. It might be a tough sell, as Trump Plaza sits on land it doesn’t actually own, and its contracted lease comes at a premium.

Donald Trump reached a lease agreement back in the early 1980s that pays the man who owns the three acres $1 million a year for 94 years, or through 2078. The man, now almost as old as his lease at 89-years-old, is still collecting his annual payments despite the casino folding three years ago.