For years now Donald Trump has been trying to build a $24 million complex on the Jones Beach boardwalk called Trump on the Ocean. The restaurant, including a lounge and catering facility for up to 1,500 people, would have replaced the deteriorating Boardwalk Restaurant. When it was originally announced in 2007, Trump expected to open it in 2009. But work was delayed by numerous legal squabbles over the design. In July, Trump finally agreed to a settlement and work was able to resume... and then along came Hurricane Sandy.

Today the state and Trump announced that the project would be abandoned, at least in its current form, because of the damage caused by the hurricane, as well as the expectation that more superstorms of this type are now inevitable. Ironically, most of the previous legal wrangling arose when Trump tried to include a controversial basement at the complex that did not comply with building and fire codes for a coastal floodplain. In the settlement, Trump agreed to cut the basement in half. Following Sandy, the construction site was totally flooded.

"It is an inappropriate time to build a luxury restaurant and banquet facility at Jones Beach," Trump said in a statement. "This was a difficult decision for me to make as The Trump Organization was ready, willing and able to build and commence construction next year." And the Parks Department says Jones Beach "experienced tens of millions of dollars of damage to its boardwalk and park buildings. Six weeks after the storm, the immediate area remains closed to the public, and it will remain closed for many months until state parks completes repairs to damaged structures and utilities."

The Parks Department still intends to do something with the site, but is going to start over from scratch. "Sandy has opened everyone's eyes to the potential risks of building directly on the oceanfront," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "Looking over the coming decades, as we face sea level rise and the threat of future damaging storms, we have concluded that building a major new facility directly on the oceanfront, on the scale of the Trump project, is not prudent policy."