Carl Ichan managed to snag a much coveted Atlantic City property that real estate moguls like Donald Trump had tried to acquire for years but failed to and it only cost him $583, 000. He was revealed as the winning bidder in an auction for it from last summer.
The property, Vera Coking’s seaside boarding home, is a plain, square and somewhat drab brown three story old house. So why was it so important that the likes of Donald Trump had tried to get the widow to sell it to them for decades?
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In three words, location, location, location.
The house is located right next to the Trump Plaza hotel and casino by the famed Atlantic City boardwalk. Trump wanted the lot to build yet another casino that would have bared his name. But perhaps considering the fate of his Trump Plaza and Taj Mahal, both now bankrupt, his failure to acquire the property may have been for the best.
Coking had turned down as much as $1 million from Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione for the house and even went to court in the 1980s to stop Trump from trying to use eminent domain laws to seize it.
So what has changed? Cooking now resides in a retirement home in California and the house was sold at an auction. Trump, who has long since gotten out of the casino business, was not one of the bidders.
The building is already being taken apart ahead of its demolition. Asbestos is being removed and the windows are already gone.
Mr. Ichan has not revealed his plans for the site, but since he is trying to save the Taj Mahal which owes him more than $260 million he probably does not want to build yet another casino in Atlantic City.
The Press of Atlantic City reported rumors that the neighboring Trump Plaza might be demolished so that both lots can become part of an extension of the Boardwalk. This would be part of Atlantic City’s attempts at a renewal since the casinos failed to revitalize it.
Meanwhile union workers from the Trump Taj Mahal took to the streets to protest against Mr. Ichan who recently won a ruling in bankruptcy court which nullified the health and pension benefits that the hotel’s workers had under their contract.
Ichan said that the hotel could not survive if it needed to continue to pay the benefits.