During a meeting of the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association, held at Caesars Atlantic City on Jan. 15, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small said in a speech that one of his biggest and most important goals for the 2020 year is demolishing the Plaza Hotel. This was a former Trump property.
“My administration’s goal is to tear Trump Plaza down,” Small said. “That’s not accepted in any other city but Atlantic City. It’s an embarrassment, it’s blight on our skyline, and that’s the biggest eyesore in town.”
Mayor Small’s comments came on the heels of Jim Allen’s, Hard Rock International’s CEO, expressed disappointment in the state of the city. Allen confidently asserted that the city is in its “worse shape” since purchasing the Hard Rock property there three years ago. He states the city hasn’t responded swiftly or appropriately enough to growing concerns of the city’s worsening condition, for example, broken streetlights that have remained out for months:
“When you’re in a resort environment where safety and security is so important, if the city can’t get something fixed as simple as the street lighting, then maybe a change is needed,” Allen said.
Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino was forced to shut its doors in 2014, as the Garden State’s gambling epicenter was hit with an extended bout of weaker traffic. Smalls was tired of the building being seen as nothing more than illegally-discarded trash. Once again, he started asking for the property to be demolished.
He wants his back yard cleaned up and rid of the dead weight, and he wants it now.
Trump Cuts Ties With AC Over a Decade Ago
Trump actually cut most of his ties with Atlantic City in 2009. This was when he sued to have his name removed from the shuttered Plaza building in October 2014, a month after it closed. The last of Trump’s involvement in the city was a small stake in the company. It was in return for the use of his name, but it has since been removed.
There are two other casinos that Trump once owned. Today, they’re currently operating under new brands—the Golden Nugget and Hard Rock. The Golden Nugget used to be the Trump Marina, and the Hard Rock was the former Trump Taj Mahal.
Currently, the Plaza building is owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, who assumed ownership of Trump’s former casino company from bankruptcy in 2016.
Obtaining a Demolition Permit
While the major goal of his administration is to make the building go away is clear, Small didn’t exactly specify who would bear the expense.
Trump Plaza was considered for demolition two years ago, but Icahn has not obtained a demolition permit, as reported by The Press of Atlantic City. Mayor Small’s effort to obtain funding from a state agency toward the cost of demolition failed, but he is putting enforcement in place this time around in an effort to help see his demolition goal succeed in the new year.
Small explained that a new 90-day code enforcement review panel is going to be put in place starting this week, according to The Press Of Atlantic City. Also coming are a business advisory council and infrastructure committee that are designed to help identify opportunities in both of those potential growth areas.