Patch: Trump Rallies Support for his Jones Beach Catering Facility Proposal


Golf superstar Tiger Woods planned on holding a party at Trump on the Ocean overlooking Jones Beach during the 2009 U.S Open held at the Bethpage State Park Black Course had the proposed catering facility been built on schedule.

Instead the Wantagh site where real estate mogul Donald Trump announced plans in 2006 to invest more than $30 million for the creation of a 70,000 square-foot restaurant catering facility, remains a pile of dirt. Trump said late Wednesday morning during an enthusiastic rally of supporters on the Jones Beach Boardwalk for his catering facility that the business could have been open for three years now if the state had not gotten in his way with the approval process.

“I remember when Tiger was hot he was going to have his party at our building before the U.S Open,” said Trump referring to when golf’s biggest stage was at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale during mid June of 2009. “This could have been open for thee years already. It’s a very sad situation.”

Trump first proposed his vision of a state-of-the- art catering hall at Jones Beach on the site of the former Boardwalk Café in 2006, but the project been held up in litigation the last three years. The New York Department of State Review Board rejected the project plans due to its inclusion of a 26,710-square-foot basement, which they said could not be constructed in a flood plain, and Trump then proceeded to file multiple lawsuits for lost revenue.

The New York State Parks Department has said they are prepared to move forward with the project if Trump would agree to a compromise plan they approved in 2008, which would be roughly the same size but with a more limited use of the basement. Trump emphasized during the rally on the need for the basement to house a kitchen.

Wednesday’s rally held next to site where Trump wants to build was organized by a newly formed advocacy group called Alliance to Revitalize Jones Beach, which was founded by Rafe Lieber, a Plainview resident who worked as a legislative aide to former State Sen. Craig Johnston. The rally featured numerous chants of “We want jobs” and “Let Trump build.”

There were also some opponents of Trump on the Ocean who attended Wednesday’s rally including Patrick Murray of Seaford. “We need a simple restaurant, we don’t need a Taj Mahal,” said Murray, who carried a sign that read “Dump Trump.”

Some of the elected officials and community leaders who attended the rally in support of Trump on the Ocean included Wantagh Chamber of Commerce president Christopher Brown, Nassau County Legis. Dennis Dunne, R-Levittown, and Assemblyman Dean Murray, R, East Patchogue.

“We need this built today,” said Brown, who emphasized that Wantagh has been hit hard by a sagging economy with many empty storefronts. “When you build something like this it brings people into the community.”


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