With implosion of the 39-story main tower of the former Trump Plaza casino-hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. now set for Feb. 17, city officials are exploring options to develop 10-acre property after debris is cleared by Memorial Day.
“We only have one shot at this,” city Mayor Marty Small said at a press conference late last month. “How often do you have a center city, oceanfront property available for redevelopment? We need to be aggressive with the cleanup.”
Small indicated ongoing talks with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns the property, related to redevelopment plans that include “family friendly” projects such as an extension to a nearby retail outlet mall or an entertainment venue.
Dale Finch, city director of licensing and inspections, attributed the implosion delay from its original Jan. 29 date to a large concrete foundation that was originally unknown to the demolition team. He said holes are being drilled to fit dynamite into the remaining casino-hotel structure, which demolition contractor Haines & Kibblehouse, Philadelphia, began dismantling last year after debris fell during high winds.
Controlled Demolition Inc. Phoenix, Md., is the implosion subcontractor, ENR has confirmed.
H&K declined comment on implosion details or current prep work at the site.
The implosion will shut down several city blocks, and the historic Boardwalk, with the surrounding neighborhood divided into exclusion zones, evacuation zones and areas where resort residents must remain inside, said city Fire Chief Scott Evans.
Two towers on either side of the property will remain after the implosion.
According to press reports, the demolition cost is estimated at $14 million.
Icahn bought the Trump Plaza in a 2016 bankruptcy sale, the last major piece of what was former President Donald Trump’s sizable real estate holdings there. It shut down in 2014. Icahn also bought the deed to the land under Trump Plaza but terminated the complicated lease on the property in late 2018