The Real Deal: The Donald drops in on pro-Trump Jones Beach project rally


When Donald Trump — introduced as “the person that’s going to save Long Island and save New York” — stepped up to the microphones today before a group of about 200 admiring supporters of his Nassau County Trump on the Ocean project plans, he began with an ironic story. In 2005, he reminded everyone, he was presented with the “Master Builder” award by the Long Island State Parks Department.

As the crowd standing in front of the flagpole on the Jones Beach boardwalk rallying for Trump’s Jones Beach 76,000-square-foot catering hall project was well aware, since then Trump has battled the agency in court at least two separate times in order to obtain a permit and begin construction. Today, the Alliance to Revitalize Jones Beach, an activist group unaffiliated with Trump, staged a rally in support of the project and landed The Donald as its featured guest.

The Parks Department, which originally gave Trump and Long Island caterer Steve Carl the go-ahead to develop plans for what was slated to be $26 million catering hall and restaurant just a few feet from where the crowd was standing, has since refused to grant them a building permit for the two-level facility with a basement. Preservationists have bemoaned the size of the project, government agencies have voiced concerns over building a basement prone to flooding considering its proximity to the water and others have alleged that Trump got a “sweetheart deal” to develop the land.

But the supporters were concerned only with the jobs the project would bring to the Island. Trump said it would bring 1,000 construction jobs and at least 500 permanent jobs.

The rally did not come without its opponents. Several people held “Dump Trump” signs and began jeering as the developer spoke.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of people here and there are three protesters,” Trump said. “Most of the media will give more publicity to the three people who are here in protest.”

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