Atlantic City mayor Marty Small recently filed a court order for immediate permission to demolish the abandoned property that was formerly home to the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.
According to a recent Associated Press report published by KYW-TV, Small made his request to the Atlantic City Superior Court after it was determined by local officials that the property posed a risk to public safety.
The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino featured 39 stories, 906 rooms, several restaurants and bars, and over 91,000 square feet of casino space. The property closed its doors in September of 2014 after a downturn in the Atlantic City gaming market and has remained shuttered since.
The billionaire businessman Carl Icahn took over the property after bankruptcy proceedings were concluded. He is still seeking reimbursement from the state of New Jersey to the tune of $5 million to offset the costs of demolishing the property.
Small has long advocated redevelopment of the property, which sits on 2.6 acres of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. His filing of the court order for immediate demolition came after some of the property’s façade recently fell to the sidewalk after high winds in the area.
“We could have had a fatality. We had high school wrestling championships with 13,000 people walking nearby,” Small said.
“Today, we are saying to Carl Icahn that we want this building torn down. We want the world to know that we mean business.”
Hunter Gary, president of Icahn’s local real estate concern, told reporters that Small did not have to make a move since his firm already had plans to demolish the building. However, Gary did not say anything regarding when the demolition would take place.
“We are puzzled by the city’s action. In fact, we already decided to demolish the building and have commenced the process including finalizing contracts,” he said.
“If the mayor had simply called us instead of holding a press conference, we could have updated him as well.”
The Press of Atlantic City newspaper recently reported that the cost to fully demolish the former Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino could be as much as $14 million. As it has been determined that the property is a risk to public safety, Atlantic City has fenced off some of the surrounding sidewalks in order to keep pedestrians away.
George Tibbitt, an Atlantic City council leader, told the press that Small’s stance has “full support” of the politicians in the area considering that Icahn has not even officially applied for a permit of demolition.
“I tell you with 100% certainty this building is failing,” Tibbitt said.
“It’s an imminent danger right now and I can guarantee you, if we get any type of major nor’easter type of hurricane off the coast, we’re going to have problems around here.”