The way Donald Trump remembers it, he was willing to pay Vera Coking millions of dollars and provide her with free housing for life in one of his luxury high-rises if she’d sell him a 29-room boarding house in Atlantic City that she and her husband bought for $20,000 in 1961.

The way Coking’s family remembers it, she was willing to sell, but neither Trump nor Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione, who started building a casino on the land that became Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, was willing to pay fair market value. Guccione and Trump both had to build around the three-story boarding home.


Trump Plaza had to be constructed around 127 South Columbia Place because Donald Trump couldn’t convince owner Vera Coking to sell. Photo:

In 1998, Coking, 70 at the time, told the New York Daily News, “If Trump’s thinking I’m gonna die tomorrow, he’s having himself a pipe dream. I’m gonna be here for a long, long time. I’ll stay just to see he’s not getting my house. We’ll be going to his funeral, you can count on that.”

Fast forward and Coking is 91 today, and living in California. The boarding house at 127 South Columbia Place will go on the auction block today, with a starting bid of $199,000, having been listed last fall for $995,000. Trump, who has unloaded most of his ownership in the struggling Trump Plaza, won’t say if he’s interested. Source: Associated Press via

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription