For years (six, to be exact), Atlantic City visitors wondered what was happening with the old Trump Plaza.
Well, after countless pieces of debris have fallen from the building, we finally have the answer: demolition by implosion.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. shared the major announcement during today’s morning press conference.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, Sr. just announced that plans were submitted last week for the demolition by implosion of both the main and east tower of the former Trump Plaza Casino Hotel. @ThePressofAC pic.twitter.com/UpTQSxI9oI
— Vincent Jackson (@ACPressJackson) June 11, 2020
Trump Plaza demolition = future development
Small walked up to the podium in front of Trump Plaza and said, “This is a great day for the city of Atlantic City.”
“I am proud to announce that last week, plans were dropped off to our construction office for demolition,” said Small. “… I want to give kudos to [owner] Carl Icahn and his team of Icahn Enterprises, who have been a pleasure to deal with.
“Just like in any negotiation, things are said, names are being called, but I don’t care about that. The bottom line is, this administration is here to do what’s best for the great city of Atlantic City, and it’s our focus 1,000% of the time.”
Whether Carl Icahn keeps the property or sells the land to another developer, Atlantic City plans to work “side by side” with whoever it is.
The primary goal: “Take advantage of this center city oceanfront massive property.”
And the plans go beyond knocking down the original main tower that opened on May 15, 1984.
The East Tower, which sits above the Rainforest Cafe, is coming down, too.
The family-friendly restaurant, however, is staying.
Small said the only thing that needs to be worked on is the timeline.
“I believe they want it down by June 2021. That is not acceptable, because that is smack dead in the middle of our [summer] season. My administration’s goal is to get it down by the end of the year or late February, in time for cleanup for next summer season.”
Expect the Trump Plaza demolition price tag to easily exceed $10 million.
A brief recap of Trump Plaza
Walking past Trump Plaza can be a dangerous situation, especially if there are heavy winds or a nasty storm. It’s not unheard of to see debris such as metal come flying off the building.
If you zoom in on any image of the structure, it’s not a pretty sight. For instance, a nor’easter in 2018 did some damage to the aging property on the Boardwalk:
TRACKING A NOR'EASTER: Two big chunks of the former #Trump Plaza Casino have fallen off and debris is blowing everywhere in Atlantic City via @CleveBryan https://t.co/8U8Gl7IxFJ pic.twitter.com/OnNBAklNZC
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) March 2, 2018
Then again, when a building of this size sits vacant for a half-decade and receives little TLC, things are bound to happen.
The demolition plans are being made public following several months of negotiations. Back in March, the City of Atlantic City was seeking a court order for demolition of the expansive property.
What’s next for Trump Plaza?
There are still several important details to be worked out, including finalizing the demolition plans and setting a date.
But the big question is what will replace Trump Plaza? Another casino seems like a bad idea.
However, a family-friendly concept such as Showboat’s proposed indoor water park would be a nice change of pace for Atlantic City.
Atlantic City is a destination resort and tourist town. And the better the attraction, the better chance there is of families booking an extended stay.