Atlantic City Calls for Demolition of Former Trump Casino

  • Former Trump Plaza Casino has fallen into serious disrepair since closing in 2014
  • Atlantic City officials filed demolition papers with the local Superior Court
  • Inspections deemed the site to be of immediate risk to public safety
  • Owner Carl Icahn is currently finalizing contracts to tear down the building
illuminated sign of the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino
Officials in Atlantic City are calling for the demolition of a dilapidated casino property formerly owned by US President Donald Trump. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Officials ask for immediate action

Officials in Atlantic City, New Jersey are calling on a judge to give an order for the immediate demolition of a casino formerly owned by US President Donald Trump. 

the building has fallen into serious disrepair

Formerly known as the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, the property is nearly 40 years old. It is now under the ownership of billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who purchased it through a bankruptcy proceeding. The facility has been closed for some time, and Icahn says he already has plans to conduct the demolition.

The building has fallen into serious disrepair, with significant portions of the structure’s facade tearing away and falling on the sidewalk in recent days. There are now gaping holes in the building, and drones are being used to determine the safety of the structure. 

An issue of public safety

An inspection carried out by city officials and local firefighters declared the former Trump Plaza Casino an immediate threat to public safety. Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small spoke during a press conference on Thursday about the demolition papers being filed with the Superior Court that afternoon.

The mayor said,

We could have had a fatality. We had high school wrestling championships with 13,000 people walking nearby.”

The response from Icahn

Hunter Gary, the spokesperson for the Icahn Enterprises President of Real Estate, said they were “puzzled” by the action of the city officials.

He maintained that the finalization of contracts for the site’s demolition was already under way and concluded, “If the mayor had simply called us instead of holding a press conference, we could have updated him as well.”

Mayor Small did mention during his press conference that he had been dealing with Icahn officials on the matter for several weeks. He added that, while both parties were on the same page, they might have different paths in mind.

No exact timeline was given for the planned demolition.

Stagnation of the facility

The Trump Plaza closed its doors in 2014 along with three other local casinos during the rapid decline of the city’s casino sector.

Another of Trump’s casinos in the city was the Taj Mahal. It closed down in 2016 and reopened in 2018 under the Hard Rock brand.

In 2009, Trump ended his association for the most part with Atlantic City, aside from licensing his name to be used with some of the casinos. The name licensing deal was dropped when Icahn purchased the company in February 2016. 

Icahn has been asking for over $5m worth of redevelopment tax payments to offset the demolition cost. These payments were made by the Trump Plaza when it had been in operation.