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Icahn submits plan to tear down Trump Plaza
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Icahn submits plan to tear down Trump Plaza

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ATLANTIC CITY — Trump Plaza is expected to be torn down by the end of this year or by February at the latest.

Carl Icahn, the owner of the building, has submitted a plan to tear down the former casino, Mayor Marty Small Sr. said Thursday during a news conference.

Under the plan, both towers will be torn down, Small said, adding that Rainforest Cafe and the parking garage will remain.

Small gave kudos to Icahn and his team, who he said 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,” Small said.

There still have been problems with debris falling from the building, the mayor said.

“During the last windstorm, debris actually fell on the Boardwalk,” Small said. “They have been proactive every time we have pointed the issue out.”

The initial discussion was to tear down piece by piece the main tower and leave the east tower, which is above Rainforest Cafe, Small said.

“However, the plan is for them to implode both towers, bringing the building down,” Small said. “The only thing we have to work on is timeline.”

Small said he believes they want it down by June 2021, but that is not acceptable because that falls during the summer tourist vacation season.

“My administration’s goal is to get it down by the end of the year or late February in time for cleanup for the next summer season,” said Small, who added a demolition company has been hired.

Small also said he would talk to the project manager to see whether the demolition could mean jobs for local residents.

Dale Finch, director of licensing and inspection for the city, said the plans are extensive and well-designed.

Next week, there will be a meeting of all appropriate city officials — fire, police, risk management, construction, utility companies, water and sewer, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority and Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall — during which the demolition company will present its plans, Finch said.

Fire Chief Scott Evans said a net will be put around the building to keep debris contained.

The city would like to work with Icahn or whomever owns the property in the future to develop it once the buildings come down, Small said.

“It’s in center city right off the (Atlantic City) Expressway, oceanfront property, a massive amount of land,” Small said.

The original cost of demolition was estimated to be $14 million, and some local people said it could be done for $11 million, but those estimates were for the main tower only, Small said. He expects the cost to be more now because two towers are coming down.

In April, a Superior Court judge ordered IEP AC Plaza LLC, a subsidiary of billionaire hedge fund manager Icahn’s real estate empire, to present a demolition plan for the building within 45 days.

The city filed suit March 12 against the building’s owner seeking the immediate demolition or “wrapping” of the 36-year-old structure after officials deemed it a risk to public safety.

On the same day city officials held a news conference announcing the legal action, representatives for Icahn Enterprises LP said plans to bring the building down were already being executed. IEP retained a demolition project manager and estimated the building could be down within two years, according to court documents.

Staff Writer David Danzis contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-272-7202

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Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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