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« TigerWoods.com Flash: PGA Tour Return At Pebble | Main | Haney On His Tiger Book: "I think there's a lot of things that people are going to find interesting." »
Monday
Jan092012

"Trump is getting a gift from a fellow billionaire, the mayor.”

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.

Oops.

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.

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Reader Comments (12)

<spoken like Animal on the Muppets> Waterfall! Waterfall! Me Want Waterfall!!!!!! </spoken>

:)
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
I hope that $184M includes a helipad.
01.9.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdgs
This reminds me of at least three conversations I had with course owners that planned big clubhouses to attract golfers/members.
"If we build it," they would say through misty eyes, "they will come."

I just couldn't convince them that "they" were bankruptcy lawyers.
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLudell Hogwaller
There was tons of stuff I didn’t have room to get into the column, as you can imagine, but re: green fees, Parks Commissioner Benepe told me the intention is to keep them in line with other city courses and not charge as premium. As Tom points out, we’ll have to wait and see.

Posted by John Paul Newport | October 3, 2009, 3:49 pm

Interesting, this was the first comment under Tom Dunne's piece.
Love him or loathe him, Trump involvement will ensure the project is completed. This site is in an extremely poor, relatively inaccessible corner of the Bronx, and was cleared more than a decade ago (since then, nothing). Everyone stuck in traffic before the southbound toll booth of the Whitestone Bridge gets a good look at it. Trump has had success resuscitating other derelict city recreation properties (Wollman Rink). As dgs alluded to, the question will be whether enough well-to-do golfers will be willing to make the trek...only 11 miles from midtown, but it's a tough, traffic-choked 11 miles.
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoger
Trump would like for us to think he's a billionaire, I'm not so sure. Having said that, finding someone, anyone, to push this albatross across the finish line is a tall order. Had Trump not gotten involved it probably never would have been finished. Only time will tell whether or not this is a sweetheart deal but it looks like a long-shot to me.
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob Dobalina
Speaking of New York, anyone know where Del the Funk has disappeared to?
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
Just like Pound Ridge....play it once and never go back!
01.9.2012 | Unregistered Commenterclashman
As a ex NYCer, a give away to a developer comes as no surprise. Hello 6 hour round. Oh well maybe Bethpage will be less crowded.
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterA3
The key is the $10 million clubhouse. He most likely will tell the city it costs $10 million. What the city needs to see are the receipts on the construction costs. An old trick is to tell the city and public you are providing $10 million clubhouse and then only spend $4-5 million, or worse save costs by trade outs for tee times.
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn S.
"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."

It costs $60 to play other NYC courses such as Clearview on the weekend, but I imagine there will be at least a $10 charge to park at Ferry Point. That may seem strange to the rest of the country, but here in NYC we pay to park at the malls as well...
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDr Matt
And I won't be surprised to see other city courses raise their fees...
01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDr Matt

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