Atlantic City Moves to Demolish Trump Plaza Over Public Safety

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CN) — Atlantic City’s new mayor wants the Trump Plaza torn down. Immediately.

The defunct hotel and casino has been sitting idle ever since the hedge fund manager Carl Icahn purchased it from bankruptcy in 2016 but failed to obtain state funding for demolition.

(Pixabay image via CNS)

How much longer Icahn can await funding assistance, however, is now uncertain.

Atlantic City filed suit Thursday for an injunction — with the purported approval of the governor and leading state officials — to authorize immediate demolition of the Trump Plaza building.

As Mayor Marty Small Jr. sees it, the nearly 36-year-old building has become both an aesthetic and a safety problem, with pieces of siding crumbling off the shuttered building and threatening passersby.

“My administration’s goal is to tear Trump Plaza down,” the Democrat said in January. “That’s not accepted in any other city but Atlantic City. It’s an embarrassment, it’s a blight on our skyline, and that’s the biggest eyesore in town.”

Video posted to NBC earlier this month showed a piece of sheet metal being blown off the relic.

The complaint, filed late Thursday afternoon in Atlantic County Superior Court, says Trump Plaza “is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use” and poses “a clear and present danger to life posed by the risk of falling debris.”

In a supporting brief, lawyers for the city wrote that “large pieces of concrete and metal are constantly falling off the exterior of the building several stories until they crash onto the ground.”

The brief also says Atlantic City cited Icahn last year for failing to repair or ameliorate the poor conditions, and that city police have had to cordon off the area with barriers and station officers to protect passersby.

“The city must be able to ensure that its citizens, employees, and visitors to the City are safe when walking or driving the streets or walking on the sidewalks of the City, and currently, there is a 24-hour threat to the safety of anyone in the vicinity of Trump Plaza,” the brief continues.

Icahn sought $5.6 million from the state’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority shortly after purchasing the property to help defray some of the costs of demolition, which had been scheduled for 2017. When that funding fell through, the property remained standing.

Icahn has already sold off two of Trump’s other Atlantic City properties: the Taj Mahal Casino Resort and the Tropicana Casino and Resort.

Icahn has not returned a request for comment left with his personal assistant.

President Donald Trump began distancing himself from the failed property well before his election. In 2014, Trump sued to have his name removed from the shuttered building. Since then, the marquee has been reduced to only a few letters remaining.

Small, the former Atlantic City Council president who took over as mayor when Frank Gilliam pleaded guilty in 2019 to wire fraud, did not immediately respond to calls for additional comment.

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