Former Trump Plaza Casino Site Up For Sale In Atlantic City

Written By David Danzis on August 15, 2023
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Nearly two and half years after the former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino implosion in Atlantic City, a single remaining tower and its adjoining lot are listed for sale.

The property at 2201 Boardwalk is posted without an actual sale price on LoopNet, a commercial real estate listing board. According to listing agent Binswanger, the property consists of nearly 1.2 million square feet and sits on approximately 9.46 acres.

Rainforest Cafe and B&B Parking are partial tenants on the property, which is just north of the now-vacant lot where the Trump Plaza casino stood before it was imploded on Feb. 17, 2021.

Prime real estate on the World’s Most-Famous Boardwalk

Both parcels are owned by IEP AC Plaza, LLC, a subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises, the publicly-traded company founded by billionaire Carl Icahn. The center city, oceanfront lots are among the most valuable pieces of real estate in Atlantic City.

But, as presently structured, the land is not generating much for the city.

State tax records show Icahn paid more than $55,000 in taxes last year on the lot with the restaurant and parking. The vacant spot which once housed the 39-story main hotel tower and casino of Trump Plaza had a tax bill of more than $70,000 in 2022.

By comparison, the owner of the former Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and its adjoining parking garage paid more than $271,000 in taxes in 2022 on those two lots.

Trump Plaza and the Atlantic Club both closed in 2014. Four Atlantic City casinos closed that year. Revel Casino Hotel and Showboat Casino Hotel were the others.

AC trying to avoid mistakes of the past

Immediately following the Plaza implosion, AC Mayor Marty Small Sr. said the goal for the site was to work with Icahn and others to build “something we can all be proud of.” At the time, the mayor said his preference would be a mixed-use development that includes retail and entertainment.

Prior to the Trump Plaza implosion, the Sands Atlantic City was the last casino to be razzed in town. The Sands came down in 2007 and the lot remains empty to this day.

Icahn, Atlantic City casinos have long been connected

However, unlike the relatively unknown investors behind the Sands site, Icahn has a history with Atlantic City.

In 2008, he bought a majority stake in Las Vegas-based Tropicana Entertainment, which was battling bankruptcy. His stake included the company’s assets in multiple states, including the Tropicana Atlantic City in New Jersey. By 2010, Tropicana had emerged from bankruptcy protection.

The Wall Street investor acquired Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2016, salvaging the Atlantic City casino operator from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Later that year, Icahn had a very public and contentious dispute with AC’s largest casino workers’ union, Unite Here Local 54. After a strike that lasted more than 100 days, Icahn closed the Trump Taj Mahal Casino & Resort.

In 2017, he sold that property to a contingent of local businessmen who partnered with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock International. The Boardwalk property reopened on June 27, 2018 after more than $500 million in renovations as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

In 2018, Icahn sold his interests in Tropicana Entertainment to a Reno-based casino company and real estate investment trust. Tropicana Atlantic City became an Eldorado Resorts (now Caesars Entertainment) operation while the building itself is owned by Gaming & Leisure Properties, Inc.

Triax 57, an Atlantic City-based broadcasting company, alerted PlayNJ to the public listing of Trump Plaza.

Photo by Ted Shaffrey / Associated Press
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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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