Plans to build the city's first tournament quality golf course have puttered for more than a decade. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.
Gregory and Nadine Passalacqua wake up to a scene that's not quite what they had hoped for when they bought a house in a pocket of Throgs Neck. Plans to turn a nearby site into a golf course lured them to the area in 2001.
"I'm disgusted," Nadine says. "I've been waiting and waiting and waiting. I've been cleaning dust out of my home over and over."
For decades, there were talks of turning the east side of Ferry Point Park, a former city landfill beneath the Bronx-Whitestone bridge, into a golf course. In 1998, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced plans for a private design and development team led by golf legend Jack Nicklaus to fund, build and run a $22 million championship-style public golf course.
As the project moved forward, some community groups expressed environmental concerns.
In 2007, after the original developer abandoned the project, the city picked up construction costs. This past January, the city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee approved the Trump organization's proposal to operate the golf course. Under the 20-year deal, Trump will also build a $10 million club house. Licensing fees to the city would start after four years of operation.
"It is outrageous that in this day and age that the public is paying to build a golf course, a luxury course, for a billionaire," says Geoffrey Croft, the president of NYC Park Advocates.
The Comptroller's office voted against the deal but it's not without its supporters.
"Lord knows that I disagree with him politically but that name and that brand is something that the whole world recognizes," says Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "People are going to be interested now in coming into our borough and playing there and doing business."
Two parks, including the development of a waterfront park, are also part of the project that now has a combined price tag of $184 million. The Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park is slated to open in the spring of 2014.