Atlantic City could soon tear down the abandoned Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino that Mayor Marty Small recently called an “embarrassment.” The now-vacant New Jersey property was once part of a gaming company owned by current US President Donald Trump.
“It’s [a] blight on our skyline … [and is] the biggest eyesore in town,” Small proclaimed Thursday. “My administration’s goal is to tear Trump Plaza down.”
The current situation is “not accepted in any other city but Atlantic City,” Small added in a speech to the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association. Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises now owns the former resort casino after Trump’s company filed for bankruptcy, according to the Associated Press.
The former Trump casino was considered for demolition two or three years previously. Icahn never got the required permit. Trump’s company also formerly owned Trump Marina — now the Golden Nugget — and the Trump Taj Mahal — now the Hard Rock.
Also, during Thursday’s speech, Small repeated his opposition to a plan to reorganize Atlantic City local government. An effort is underway to replace the current mayor with a larger city council form of government.
A referendum could put to the voters a proposal that five council members select the mayor, and a city manager would run daily operations. The effort is led by Unite Here Local 54 President Bob McDevitt and Morris Bailey, owner of the Resorts Casino Hotel.
Last year, McDevitt told NJTV, “No major city that has the kind of hospitality industry that we have has a main drag with the kind of undesirables and buildings that should be torn down.”
Last week, Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen said Atlantic City is now in worse shape than in 2017 and suggested he could understand why the referendum effort is underway.
“Frankly, the town’s in worse shape today than it was when we bought the building,” Allen told the Associated Press.
In June, then-Council President Small claimed the referendum effort had racial overtones. “The move reflects a mindset that believes African Americans and other races can’t govern and don’t have the backbone or the courage to fight,” Small was quoted by NJTV.
Atlantic City Moves Forward with Planning
On Thursday, Small also announced that a master plan for Atlantic City will be completed in June, according to The Press of Atlantic City. Vacant properties, such as the ex-Trump Plaza, will be addressed by a code enforcement review panel set up by Small, The Press adds.
The new mayor also plans to set up a business advisory council and an infrastructure committee.
Small took office last October, after the resignation of Frank Gilliam. Gilliam has pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud.
Iraqi Calls Donald Trump ‘Son of Gambling Halls’
President Trump has severed ties with the Atlantic City casino sector.
But earlier this month, Trump’s involvement with gambling operations was highlighted by Iraqi politician Muqtada al-Sadr, who called Trump “the son of gambling halls” and “son of the night clubs,” according to a translation from the Middle East Media Research Institute.
The negative statements came during recent tensions between the US and Iran/Iraq.