A day after Donald Trump’s presidency ended, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small announced on Thursday that the former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino will be imploded on Feb. 17 at 9 a.m. Eastern.
The 34-story building, constructed and owned by Trump before his presidency and now owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, has sat vacant since September 2014 after a 30-year run on the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, home of New Jersey’s casinos, on Mississippi Avenue. Icahn submitted demolition plans in June 2020.
For the past four years, efforts have been underway to get rid of the complex. Icahn took over ownership of the property in 2016 when he acquired Trump Entertainment Resorts from bankruptcy.
The building has become a public hazard and eyesore over the past few years with debris falling from the property during high winds and storms.
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“We are working to get this building down as safe as possible,” Small said during a news conference on Thursday. “Our next conversation will be with Carl Icahn and his group to see what will replace it. We have one shot to get this right with the implosion, the cleanup and the rebuild. It’s his land, he can put whatever he wants but we want to have a positive, working relationship to what will be put there.”
The city had wanted to do an auction for the right to press the button to implode the casino. The event would have raised money for the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, but the auction, which had drawn a high bid of $175,000, was cancelled after Icahn objected, according to Bodnars Auction.
Instead, Icahn donated $174,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City with One Atlantic, Hard Rock and Ocean also contributing with events surrounding the implosion date.
The 141-acre Bader Field, the former Atlantic City Municipal Airport, will be made available as a public viewing area for the implosion.
“This was an imminent, public safety issue and that building is coming down. It doesn’t matter what name is on that building, it has to come down,” Small said. “We wanted down at the end of last year. It’s going to come down in a safe and secure matter and we are looking forward to the rebuild.”