The Trump Organization was told by New York City’s Deputy Mayor that its proposal to annex nearby city parkland so it could extend the border of Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point to the waterfront would not be allowed, because it would cut off public access and interfere with recreational development. Further challenges for the Republican presidential candidate’s golf-related business were reported from Scotland, where substantial losses were posted for Trump’s two Scottish courses.
Donald Trump’s push to extend the border of Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, the new course in the Bronx, New York that opened in 2015, by annexing nearby city parkland has hit a wall, the New York Daily News reported.
New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen sent a letter on October 17th to the Republican presidential candidate’s son, Eric Trump, stating that the request to extend the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point was denied, the Daily News reported. “We are determined to protect and expand the community’s access to its waterfront, and to not impinge upon it,” Glen wrote.
The Trump organization had asked the city to let it take over part of Ferry Point Park, which surrounds the course, so the links layout could be extended to the waterfront, the Daily News reported.
In exchange for getting the prime waterfront land, Trump offered to redevelop some of the less desirable acreage of Ferry Point, which would cut off public access to the waterfront, the Daily News reported. Trump even proposed naming a public walkway in that parkland after himself, as the “Donald J. Trump Athletic Trail,” according to renderings he sent in 2013.
In turning down the request, Glen said that the city has plans for the waterfront that would provide the area with much-needed recreational space, the Daily News reported.
“We have no interest in changing direction in order to allow a cosmetic improvement to a golf course that is, as your letter notes, already recognized as one of the best new courses in the nation,” Glen wrote to Eric Trump.
The city chose the right course, Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates, a watchdog group, told the Daily News.
“The taxpayers spent hundreds of millions of dollars building this luxury golf course, and this so-called billionaire is trying to take away more parkland is absurd,” said Croft.
Croft and other advocates have been critical of the deal that was made while Michael Bloomberg was New York’s mayor for Trump to operate the golf course, which was paid for with taxpayer money and which costs $144 for green fees on weekdays, triple what similar courses cost, the Daily News noted.
At the same time that Trump’s request for expansion of his newest U.S. course was stymied, Reuters reported that the Trump organization’s two golf courses in Scotland continued to suffer losses last year, according to accounts filed in Britain.
Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited, which owns and manages a course built on previously protected dunes north of Aberdeen, reduced its annual loss by 40,000 pounds to 1.1 million pounds ($1.37 million), Reuters reported.
The Turnberry golf resort, which Trump bought in 2014 for 34 million pounds, reported a loss of 8.4 million pounds, compared to over 3.6 million in 2014. Heavy investments in the property and the closure of its hotel for renovations drove the drop in revenue and increased losses, Reuters reported.
Trump’s organization has said about $300 million has been invested in buying, building and developing the properties, Reuters reported, but the accounts show that his main Scottish operating companies spent less than half that figure up to the end of 2015. Trump officials say spending since then and head- office costs related to the Scottish developments have pushed the total higher.
Some industry investors and consultants are skeptical that Trump can make a return on his investment in Scotland, Reuters reported. A decline in golf’s popularity and an oversupply of courses has pushed some Scottish courses to close, while Turnberry’s two previous owners failed to make a profit there.
A Reuters examination of Trump’s golf empire earlier this year, based on his own comments and official filings, calculated that he had spent over $1.1 billion building a portfolio that was now worth about half that sum.
Trump rejected the analysis, saying of his courses: “Every one of them makes a lot of money.”