NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending Donald Trump’s plan to operate the long promised golf course at Ferry Point Park in the Bronx. The plan will reportedly cost the city $97 million to build and Trump will be given four years to begin generating revenue.
1010 WINS Reporter Juliet Papa
Trump was given a 20-year deal to run the course, beginning in the fifth year he will have to generate an annual revenue of $300-thousand. The plan is for the 18-hole course to open in 2014 under the name “Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park.”
“We have to pick from whoever is willing to run a golf course. These are not terribly profitable things, and in this day and age more golf courses are closing rather than opening across the country,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb With Comment From Mayor Bloomberg
Trump plans to use the facility to host PGA events as well as other events in the course’s banquet hall which will be able to accommodate up to five-hundred people.
Greens fees will cost nearly three times the amount of fees at other city courses, reserving a tee time for Friday through Sunday will cost $125.
Trump has plunged a mere $10-million of his $7-billion net worth into the course, according to the Daily News. He will be responsible for building the clubhouse, a snack bar, and the course’s fairways and greens.
Some groups were less than pleased with the announcement.
“It’s outrageous that the public is paying to build a championship golf course for Donald Trump,” said Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates. “We will never make back our investment. You can’t make this stuff up.”
Croft went on to accuse the city of cozying up to Trump and giving him a “sweetheart deal.”
“It’s a boondoggle giveaway from one billionaire to another,” he told CBS2′s Don Dahler.
“There is no reason that the public should be paying for this, and at the end of the day the public isn’t going to be making any money from this,” Croft said.
And local residents questioned the need for a golf course in the neighborhood.
“Listen, mostly in this neighborhood we just need a supermarket,” said Jose Rodriguez, who lives in a local senior citizen’s center.
But according to the city, Trump’s proposal was the best choice.
“Trump’s was by far the strongest proposal,” park spokesman Zachary Feder said. “In both the other deals, there was far less committed capital with lower fees to the city.”
The mayor said that while golf courses aren’t profitable, this option was cheaper than meeting the environmental standards needed turn all the land into a park.
The original proposal for the Jack Nicklaus designed course was made in 1998 by Mayor Giuliani but was met with delays and cost problems.
Trump and his staff understand that similar pitfalls could await them in the future.
“It’s a risky deal. We think it will be successful, but its success comes with a price,” said Trump Vice President Ron Lieberman.
Do you plan on shelling out big bucks to tee off at the new course? Let us know in our comments section below…