ATLANTIC CITY — After more than three decades as a staple of the Boardwalk, Trump Plaza could soon be razed.

The facility, which closed in September 2014 as the casino market in the city shrank, is set to be imploded in the spring, Mayor Don Guardian said.

The demolition would open several acres of premium oceanfront property that could attract millions of dollars in investment, experts said. Since its closing, the deteriorating property, formerly owned by President Donald J. Trump, has become a symbol of the fall of the city and its gaming empire.

Tearing down the Plaza could increase interest in the property, said Ken Calemmo, chief operating officer of Cooper Levenson and co-chair of the Economic Development Committee of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

“The first thing you need to recognize is that the Plaza has one of the best locations in the city,” Calemmo said. “It sits at the base of the expressway and in the center of the Boardwalk. You are guaranteed 29 million plus visitors passing by every year.”

However, before any demolition can happen, the building, must go through an asbestos remediation, said Dale Finch, director of licensing and inspection for the city. No demolition permit has been filed with the city, Finch said.

“They are in the process of putting it together,” Finch said. “It all seems to be moving forward. It’s going to come down over the next four months.”

Calls to Carl Icahn, who owns the property, were not returned.

The former Holiday Inn tower and 2,658-parking-space garage at the Plaza are set to remain, Guardian said.

Over the last couple of weeks, liquidators have been at the site selling off the building’s contents.

Phil Amaradio, owner of S and S Auction House, said his business has purchased various items from the property over the past couple weeks. No date has been set when the items from the Plaza will be auctioned.

“They are in the process of liquidating the building,” Amaradio said. “I don’t know all of the specifics, but we bought the more expensive, higher-end type of things.”

Demolishing a casino can be a pricey endeavor. Last year, it cost $42 million to raze the 2,100-room Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

If razed, the Plaza would become the second casino to be torn down over the last decade. In October 2007, the Sands’s 21-story hotel tower was reduced to rubble. An estimated 100,000 people gathered to watch the demolition. The property was torn down to make way for a $2 billion megaresort that was never built.

A state report several years ago on Atlantic City suggested the demolition of the Plaza property to create so-called “greenscapes,” providing convenient access to the Boardwalk and ocean for nongambling visitors that could help re-orient the “new” Atlantic City.

“I was involved in a feasibility study on the property a few years ago,” said Robert Ambrose, gaming consultant. “It is on prime real estate with a great deal of possibilities.”

Contact: 609-272-7046 nhuba@pressofac.com

Twitter @acpresshuba

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