BY Randi F Marshall
Newsday Staff Writer
Donald Trump has his name on buildings and golf courses throughout Manhattan, New Jersey and Westchester. He’s got his own water, men’s suits, cologne and university.
Now, The Donald is trying to capture one market he had missed: Long Island.
Trump has partnered with Bethpage caterer Steve Carl to create Trump on the Ocean, a $40 million upscale catering hall and restaurant on Jones Beach’s boardwalk. They will announce the deal Thursday afternoon.
The 36,000-square-foot facility, which could handle groups up to 1,400 people, would take the place of the historic Boardwalk Restaurant, which was demolished two years ago. The six acres of property would feature terraces and a three-story building including a lounge-like nightclub and restaurant.
“When it’s finished, there will be nothing like it anywhere in the world,” Trump said in an interview Wednesday.
Trump by the Ocean will be marketed towards an affluent clientele, he said, adding they planned to make it accessible to “those who aren’t Rockefellers.”
But don’t expect to grab something to eat at the restaurant if you’re wearing a bathing suit and flip-flops; nice clothes and shoes will have to do.
Nonetheless, Trump and Carl said the building’s design and uses will match the culture and look of the area. The state already has approved the deal.
State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro said the facility would still appeal to beach-goers and others.
“It doesn’t mean the public will be outpriced,” said Castro, citing plans for summer outside dining. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Trump and Carl said the facility will be used year-round. The lease runs for 40 years and no public money is involved.
The ballrooms and lobby will feature Atlantic Ocean views – and Trump said he wants them unobstructed, strongly objecting to the proposal for a 40-turbine wind farm three and a half miles off the beach’s coast.
“I think it’s terrible,” Trump said, adding that he thought solar and wave energy were better alternatives. “If they want to destroy Jones Beach and the entire Long Island shore, then I think they should build a wind farm.”
Richard Kessel, chairman of the Long Island Power Authority, which backs the wind farm, said Trump’s comments were surprising coming “from someone who built monster hotels on the New Jersey shoreline. I’d certainly rather see windmills on the shoreline than a casino.”
While Trump wouldn’t say whether he would protest the Jones Beach wind farm, he noted that he did voice displeasure with similar plans in Scotland, where he wanted to build a golf course. Eventually, officials moved the wind farm.
Carl, who runs Carlyle on the Green in Bethpage, said construction on the catering hall and restaurant will likely start in November and open in the summer of 2008. He wouldn’t say what a wedding or bar mitzvah would cost.
Of the partnership with Trump, he added, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
And it might end up being an opportunity for a future apprentice.
Asked if the next winner of his television show could work on the Jones Beach project, Trump said: “You know, that is not a bad idea.”
Staff writer Mark Harrington contributed to this story.
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