Since making its intentions known and establishing options for public input, the Atlantic City Tourism District has seen a strong show of support and constructive commentary.
As detailed in the Jan. 5 Atlantic City Weekly, a state-mandated Master Plan that outlines Atlantic City’s proposed Tourism District was given a Feb. 1 deadline by Gov. Chris Christie, one year to the date he signed the legislation designed to make the resort town a safer and more attractive place to visit.
To achieve that goal, Tourism District administrator Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) hired international real-estate planner Jones Lang LaSalle, the California-based urban planning firm Jerde Partnership, and the locally based Birdsall Engineering and Hill Wallack law firm. Recognizing that A.C.’s year-round residents are perhaps most likely to be impacted by all the changes, the CRDA also reached out for public input in the form of an online survey (accessible via the Web site RevitalizeAC.com) and by public forums that afforded residents the opportunity to make Tourism District suggestions.
Three public meeting were initially scheduled, but so successful were the first two in garnering useful feedback that a third was added (Wednesday, Jan. 18, 6:30pm in room 408 of the A.C. Convention Center). The final public meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7:30pm in the Our Lady Star of the Sea cafeteria (2652 Atlantic Ave.).
It is likely, according to a press release, that Gov. Christie will outline some of the finer points being addressed by the Tourism District when he delivers his state-of-the-state speech on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 3pm (postponed from Jan. 10 due to the sudden passing of Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce).
“The success of the master planning process depends on the input of stakeholders with an interest in Atlantic City,” says CRDA executive director John Palmieri. “We are encouraged by the overwhelming interest the public has demonstrated in being involved in this process.”
Deputy CRDA director Susan Ney Thompson gave a PowerPoint presentation during the Jan. 9 public meeting at the Venice Park United Methodist Church, which included architectural renderings of what rejuvenated areas encompassed by the Tourism District would look like when completed. The district roughly covers all territory from the Boardwalk to Atlantic Avenue, the Convention Center and The Walk areas, Gardner’s Basin and the casino marina district, and Bader Field. During the meeting Thompson also likened the Tourism District’s intentions to those outlined in the current Atlantic City Master Plan, which states, in part, “Unlike conventional beach resorts subject to the seasonal variations of busy summers and stark winters, and unlike the intense specialization of Las Vegas as a gaming strip, the Atlantic City community desires to create a total and diversified city for all seasons, all ages and all social statuses.”
A court reporter was gathering comments and taking names of contributors after the Jan. 9 meeting was open to public comment.
“The team has been working together to develop some broad concepts, and with your input we are going to be refining the concepts and putting them before the [CRDA] board on February 1,” says Thompson. “Your comments are very important to us.”
“When you look at what we need to do to generate tourism and solidify some of the development in A.C., it’s very important that we focus on the Boardwalk area, and we look to some of the things that have worked at Bader Field recently, most notably the music festival that happened last summer [the three-day Dave Matthews Band Caravan] that brought 70,000 people to Atlantic City, many of whom had never come here before. We’re suggesting that, for the next two years, we really strengthen that as a special-events and festival area, and we look to develop the waterfront by Bader Field’s edge with perhaps a jogging path or bicycle path that can be used by the community. It’s a gorgeous piece of waterfront property.”
Right around the corner from my house and just a few blocks away, 10-20 women have been meeting and working on their quilts for more than 10 years.
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'There's so much that's going on that's good and it really has enabled us to build a campaign that is very positive and is very upbeat and that does really talk to all of the really positive things that are going on.'
“The master plan is designed to breathe new life into this historic coastal playground and transform the city into a highly desirable place to live, work, play and visit."
One year to the date Gov. Chris Christie signed landmark legislation designed to revitalize Atlantic City and set the surrounding region on a new course for economic growth, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) adopted the Atlantic City Tourism District Master Plan in a special meeting Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the A.C. Convention Center.
Although the Tourism District Master Plan is due Feb. 1, it won't be presented to the public on that date. However, the CRDA will present the master plan to the public on Monday, March 26, at noon.
CRDA Boss John Palmieri: “We are very excited about the preliminary concepts being assessed and look forward to sharing this material, and we encourage the public to take time to become involved in this process. It takes a wide range of stakeholders to create something that Atlantic City can be proud of.”
ATLANTIC CITY — John Palmieri, the new head of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, comes to Atlantic City like no other executive director of the authority ever has. Palmieri, who was head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority from 2007 up until earlier this year, and has headed redevelopment and economic development in other cities such as Charlotte, North Carolina; Providence, Rhode Island; and Hartford, Connecticut, certainly has the qualifications and background for the job. But so have other CRDA directors. What’s different is the CRDA he’ll be heading. Never in the authority’s history has the role of the CRDA been so large. An agency created to build housing in Atlantic City and...
Further, as Atlantic City Weekly has learned earlier this week that two key associates at the CRDA who were spearheading an Arts District campaign for Mississippi Avenue in the Ducktown neighborhood of the resort, are both no longer with the CRDA,
The perception is that it’s all about gaming [in Atlantic City]. And clearly it’s much more than that so that’s the opportunity, to make sure that doesn’t happen."
Watch the video of Atlantic City Mayor Langford on CNN Nov. 1 accusing Gov. Christie of a 'double standard.'
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