Famed real estate developer Donald Trump and New York State announced Friday that an agreement has been reached for a long-stalled restaurant and catering facility at in Wantagh.
Under the terms of the agreement, Trump on the Ocean LLC will build and operate a facility with a foot-print of 38,560 square feet at the former site of the Boardwalk Café, which closed in 2003. Trump on the Ocean will include a public restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating accommodating more than 400 people, and catering areas that can seat up to 1,250 guests, according to officials for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) .
The $30 million "Trump on the Ocean" project had been the last four years due to the State Review Board objecting to plans for a basement in a flood zone. As part of the agreement announced Friday, Trump will be allowed a downsized basement of roughly 14,000 square feet for storage purposes only and not a kitchen which he originally sought. Trump on the Ocean, the OPRHP and Department of State will also terminate lawsuits initiated after disagreements arose among the parties relating to the original building design proposed under the lease executed in 2006 for this project.
"This is a settlement that is good for everybody, especially the State of New York, and will lead to the creation of the finest facility of its kind anywhere in the country,"said Trump in a statement. "Aside from the magnificence of the building itself, and of equal importance, will be the tremendous number of jobs created."
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Trump will invest more than $24 million in private funds to develop the facility and not receive any state funding for the project. The agreement still needs the approval of State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
"We've broken the logjam and ended the lawsuits that have stalled this project for five years," said New York State OPRHP Commissioner Rose Harvey. "The Trump on the Ocean LLC project will create hundreds of jobs, provide a boost for Long Island's economy, and bring back a much-needed amenity to Jones Beach State Park."
Last year in an attempt to jump-start the catering hall project, which was first conceived in late 2006, the Alliance to Revitalize Jones Beach organized a at Jones Beach State Park attended by Trump. The project has had the support of many in the business community including the and the .
Trump and the state will enter into a new 40-year lease for construction and operation of the facility. The 2012 lease retains all of the financial and substantive terms of the lease executed in 2006, but resets the start date to 2012, according to state officials.
Trump will make a yearly base rent payment of $200,000 to the OPRHP adjusted for the Consumer Price Index, which will total around $13 million by the end of the lease. Trump will also make additional payments from annual gross receipts to the OPRHP. All rent payments received by the OPRHP will be used to maintain and improve Jones Beach and other state parks, according to state officials.
Longtime Nassau County activist Patricia Friedman of Garden City Park, a staunch opponent of Trump on the Ocean, said she plans to against the project due to a belief that there was a lack of competitive bidding for the property. She is planning to set up a meeting with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to voice her concerns.
"If state competitive bidding is being violated than [Schneiderman] should step in," she said.