Analysis: Trump's Game With Taxpayers

He strikes quite a deal to build a new golf course in NYC.

By Gabe Pressman
|  Monday, Jan 9, 2012  |  Updated 5:25 PM EDT
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Analysis: Trump's Game With Taxpayers

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Donald Trump wrote a book called "The Art of the Deal," and boy what a deal he has struck with the Bloomberg administration.

His latest action is to make a deal with the Parks Department to run a new, 18-hole golf course, that will cost the taxpayers $97 million. The course, set to open in 2014, would be named after the billionaire developer: Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park. The site is a former landfill under the Whitestone Bridge.

For his part, Trump has to put in $10 million in design and construction, and another $850,000 to create the fairways and greens.

But for four years, he owes the city nothing. In the fifth year, the Daily News reports, he owes $300,000. Also, he would control 20 percent of the weekday tee times, without oversight by the Parks Department. He could have access to the club banquet hall for private events for up to 500 people. Golfers would pay more than triple the fee on other city courses.

Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates told me: “Trump is getting an amazing deal. The city will never make the money back. The new course will be bordered by two city housing projects with thousands of tenants who will never be able to afford to play on the golf course. “

Croft said: “I don’t blame Trump as much as Michael Bloomberg for giving this away. Trump is making money -- or rather taking it. But City Hall’s behavior is outrageous.”

And so is Trump outrageous -- if you regard giving subsidies from unsuspecting taxpayers as outrageous.

In calculating outrageousness, this competition between Bloomberg and City Hall may be hard to figure. It’s a tight race.

The Parks Department said Trump's was one of only three bids, and was the strongest.

"In both the other deals, there was far less committed capital with lower fees to the city," spokesman Zachary Feder told the News.

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