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Trump Tapped to Run Bronx Golf Course

Monday, January 09, 2012

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending the terms of a 20 year city deal with Donald Trump to operate a golf course at Ferry Point in the Bronx.

Opponents criticize the pending Parks Department contract with Trump because under the agreement he would not have to pay the city any money until it’s been in operation for five years.

Bloomberg said the millions Trump plans to invest in the project is enough for now.

"Golf courses don't make money and he's got to have a restaurant built and a building,” Bloomberg said. “He has to do those kinds of things and I hope he does make money because we need more taxpayers in this city."

In a written statement submitted Monday at the public hearing on the contract, Trump promised to deliver a PGA regulation golf course and money to the city’s coffers.

“The Trump organization is pleased and honored that we have been designated as the operator of the Ferry Point Golf Course. The selection represents a great and unique opportunity for the residents of the city of New York. For the first time New York City golfers will reap the benefits of a world class golfing experience unlike any other,” the statement opened. It went on to say that the Trump Corporation intends to bring championship tour play to the Bronx which will generate needed revenue.

The course is expected to open in 2014. In 2018 Trump would then have to pay the city 7 percent of gross revenue or $300,000— whichever is higher, according to a spokesman for the Parks Department.

Park’s Commissioner Adrian Benepe said, “The city is fulfilling a 30 year promise to the community and completing a project begun by a previous administration by transforming 50 year old landfill into a world class golf-course.”

Opponents of the “sweetheart” deal, however, don’t understand why Trump will not pay the city for the land. Geoffrey Croft, president of the New York City Park Advocates said, “We've seen time and time again this administration giving away our park land for commercial purpose but we now we're supposed to not make money.  But apparently that's not the goal here.”

The plan was first announced by then Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1998. Since then the original developer defaulted and the cost has swelled to around $184 million dollars. That includes not only the golf course, but the entire 222 acre Ferry Point development, including the waterfront and community park. The cost increased, according to the Parks Department, as part of the city’s compliance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation standards, such as removing old material from the landfill that’s not in compliance with new DEC standards.

The city's Franchise and Review Board is scheduled to vote on the contract between Trump and the Park's Department next Wednesday.

There are currently13 other golf courses operating around the city.

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Gideon Cohen

Trump Golf Course Deal In the Bronx Is A Good Thing
By Gideon Cohen - www.thegolfcourseguru.com

The most fascinating local golf development in years is Donald Trump’s takeover of a seemingly dead-in-the-water project to build a new public golf course in The Bronx.

On January 18, New York City officially approved a deal for Trump to manage the course, which will be located at Ferry Point Park and open in 2014. Under the agreement, the city (in other words, taxpayers) will be responsible for the estimated $184 million construction of the course, while Mr. Trump will manage the facility and build a $10 million clubhouse. He’ll also pay the city an annual licensing fee – but not until the fifth year of the deal – which will increase each year, and amount to between $300,000-$470,000 per year. According to reports, “Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park” will charge golfers $125 on weekends and $100 during the week.

The news has been met with a firestorm of criticism, both from local media and politicians, who are incensed that Trump walked away with a “sweetheart deal.” Taxpayers, they say, should not have to suffer while “The Donald” lines his pockets, running a swanky golf course, which can only be afforded by the area’s elite.

The fact is, however, that this project has been a debacle for nearly 15 years and finally has a semblance of hope. Development has been delayed by ineptitude, environmental issues, and even the mob.

Of course, nobody wants to pay more taxes – and politicians don’t want to be the ones responsible for levying those taxes. But this is a potentially exciting new attraction in the Bronx. The city will benefit from any well-run operation, no matter what it is. If history is any indication, Trump will turn this into another one of his excellent golf facilities, which will, in turn, generate revenue for the city in multiple ways – including possible future PGA tournaments and television revenue.

Futhermore, it will be a shot-in-the-arm for local golfers, particularly in the five boroughs, to have a thrilling new public golfing option. The city’s existing courses are poorly run and in serious need of a facelift. Some of those courses are now charging almost $75 per round for golf at mediocre facilities. The closest quality public course to New York City is at least 30-40 minutes away. A new Trump-run course – while on the expensive end – could be a welcome addition to the local golf scene.

Donald Trump is a lightning rod, who, by design, draws attention to anything he does. Without a doubt, much of the flack for the deal for “Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point” is because of the man involved. He’s brash, he’s arrogant, he’s audacious – and many people don’t like him. But he sure knows how to run a golf course.

http://www.thegolfcourseguru.com/2012/01/28/trump-golf-course-deal-in-the-bronx-is-a-good-thing/

Jan. 30 2012 10:56 PM
Hank from ny

The city has dumped $184 million into this boondoggle and now expects to get only $300-400k a year?
The original 2000 contract was $1.25 million a year with the developer financing the project.
It's too bad we cannot go back in time and hold those accountable for this landfill as literal money pit.

Jan. 10 2012 04:53 PM

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