The NY Post's Rich Calder and Chuck Bennett say Donald Trump has been awarded a no-money down 20-year management deal to operate the Bronx's new Jack Nicklaus-designed course in Ferry Point.
Under terms of the sweetheart deal, he doesn’t have to pay the city a penny for the first four years.
Instead, Trump will build a $10 million clubhouse for the course, which he hopes will attract top tournaments when it opens, in 2014.
But what a clubhouse it'll be. Those chandeliers! Those red velvet drapes!
“We are paying [$184 million for] the project. Trump is getting a gift from a fellow billionaire, the mayor,” said Geoffrey Croft, of watchdog group NYC Park Advocates. “It’s unheard of that you don’t pay any money for four years.”
By year five, Trump will have to pay only 7 percent of the gross receipts, or a minimum of $300,000. And by year 16, he pays just 10 percent, or $420,000, to the city.
The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee is set to approve the deal today.
It will cost $125 to play a round of golf on a weekend day at the Ferry Point course, compared with $36 at other city courses.
Vickie Karp, a spokeswoman for the Parks Department, said, “Our goal is to provide a public service, not to seek a return on an investment.”
Hey, you only spent $184 million, $97 million of it on building the course. Might as well eat some more losses, it's not like you had mob guys gouging you.
Nearly $15 million already spent by the city was paid to Pierre Gagne, the Giuliani-selected developer who walked out on the project in 2006 because of rising costs, forcing Mayor Bloomberg to have the city pay for it.
Ironically, $6.2 million paid to Gagne was to settle lawsuits ensued after the company accepted 2.5 million cubic yards of fill to help cover the one-time landfill. FBI wiretaps captured one mob-connected trucker boasting about collecting $5 for every cubic yard dumped.
There are some splendid Jack-in-the-field-sketching-and-pointing-photos at his website. And an interview with John Paul Newport where Jack talks about the project.
Tom Dunne commented on the Newport piece when the project was only at the $123 million point.
**Looks like the NY Daily News John Doyle, Daniel Beekman and Larry McShane had this first in Sunday's editions, with even more details about the deal:
For its first four years of operation, he will have no financial obligation to the city — and in year five, the compensation will only be $300,000, the Daily News found.
In contrast, a hot dog vendor agreed three years ago to pay the city more than $600,000 annually for a lease to peddle tube steaks outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A review of the proposed Trump agreement also shows “The Apprentice” puppet-master received city approval to run the public course as a part-time private playground.
The ex-presidential hopeful would control 20% of the weekday tee times for private use without any Parks Department oversight.
Trump could also close the facility for private use for a full day if he receives an okay from city parks officials.