Trump Links, Parks Department vie for Ferry Point space

Trump Links, Parks Department vie for Ferry Point space
Two public hearings involving the future of Ferry Point Park and its Trump Links golf course will be held Monday, November 14 by Community Board 10.
Community News/Arthur Cusano

Despite what seemed like a strong rejection from the office of Mayor de Blasio last month, The Trump organization will give a presentation at a Bronx Community Board 10 public hearing later this month on their proposal to expand its golf course to the Long Island Sound waterfront at the request of the board.

A Monday, November 14 public hearing at Fort Schuyler House at 7:30 p.m. will include two presentations – one by the Trump Links at Ferry Point management and another from the city parks department, who have plans to use the city-owned space to expand the park into the area near the golf course.

Trump Corporation executive vice president Ron Lieberman said the Trump proposal had been floated to city officials as far back as 2013, and called for expanding two holes to the waterfront and also using the company’s money to create passive parkland near the course, as a wildlife sanctuary.

The Trump organization would maintain the property for the city as well, he added.

“We can’t understand why the city rejected it,” he said. “From the city’s standpoint, this is such a homerun for them. We were willing to use our money, free up taxpayer money, so the city could use that money for other vital needs, perhaps even in the same community this park is being built.”

The Trump organization also requested a 20-year extension to its current 20-year contract to counter the improvement’s $15 million price tag.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen rejected the plan and told the developer in a letter sent last month the city planned to use the land for public space.

“We have no interest in changing direction in order to allow a cosmetic improvement,” Glen wrote.

Lieberman said expanding the final two holes, a move also supported by course co-designer Jack Nicklaus, would increase the likelihood that the facility might be chosen to host a major PGA golf tournament.

“In meeting with various governing bodies of [professional] golf, they loved the idea of creating dramatic finishing holes,” Lieberman said. “So it would have the effect of bringing a major American open to the city, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact.”

NYC Parks Department plans obtained from CB 10 and presented at a recent meeting plans for a passive waterfront park aimed at restoring ecological diversity to the bay and providing scenic overlooks of the East River.

A footpath would run through the park from east to west and provide access from the neighboring residential community to the east. The estimated total cost of parks project is listed as $9.6 million.

CB 10 president Martin Prince said the board will give a recommendation to the city after the hearing.

He said the board was most concerned about what plans the city had for the western portion of the park, the more active area. No plans have been announced for that section, he said.

“I’m certain that will be part of our response,” Prince said.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at acusa[email protected]

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