Two major events in the past week are helping resurrect Atlantic City.
Announcements by Bart Blatstein and Glenn Straub have restored the faith of local folks and other investors in the city’s future. Both have stated they will be investing considerable amounts of money in their projects.
Straub has had a long, arduous battle in the courts that was finalized this past Tuesday, when his offer to purchase the Revel property ended with him buying it. Straub an-nounced last week that he planned a total investment of up to $500 million for an exciting Phoenix program in the Atlantic City area. He has eight different concepts that are under consideration. He also said the Polo North complex, formerly the Revel Casino-Hotel, will be open for business at the beginning of summer.
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Bart Blatstein held a press conference a week ago to announce his deal with Caesar’s Entertainment for the purchase of the former Pier at Caesars had been completed. He introduced Paul Steelman, the architect for The Pier’s revitalization. He said he would be spending $50 million to make it one of the most exciting entertainment venues in the nation. He previously said he had several other projects on tap for Atlantic City.
It was interesting to note that the media around the country that have been torturing Atlantic City with their stories about its demise played down the story of these two developers. There aren’t too many municipalities around this country that have the kind of financial input that will be happening here in the not too distant future.
I have been writing about the development about to take place on Arctic Avenue, adjacent to Barbera’s Fish Market. The following information was sent to those who reside within 200 feet of the subject property.
A written application has been filed by JTD Realty Group Inc. with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for approval of a preliminary and final site plan.
The applicant seeks to establish an amphibious duck boat touring company to provide tours of the bay and then Atlantic City. The applicant also seeks to use the property as the pickup and drop-off locations for the tours, as well as other activities necessary to conduct its business.
The project will also convert the existing building into two restaurants and bars and provide a new off-street parking area to accommodate the proposed use. Each of the two restaurants will be designed to accommodate 80 patrons. Word on the street previously noted that one of the restaurants will be a Hooters and the other will be a sports bar to be the operated by the owner of the site.
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The applicant requires use-variance approval for the operation of the duck boat tours and for the planned uses on the property. The applicant is also seeking any and all other variances or waivers that may be deemed necessary during the course of the hearing. The applicant will be responsible for any required relocation of existing utility poles, light standards, fire hydrants or other above-grade utility structures within the right of way.
This is truly good news as it will provide jobs for people in the culinary industry and the building trades for the construction of the restaurants. There is a sizable sum of money that will be necessary for the development of the site.
Recent discussions with the owners and operators of Barbera’s Fish Market, the White House Sub Shop, Formica’s Bakery and the restaurants in that neighborhood brought forth the information that they have been doing good business from the 200 employees of the Bass Pro Shop. Within a week, they will then have thousands of additional visitors coming into their neighborhood
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There are four parking garages located on three blocks in the center of Atlantic City. There is the Wave garage on Mississippi and Fairmount avenues, and Caesars and Bally’s garages from Missouri to Michigan Avenues, between Atlantic and Pacific avenues, and parking under the Atlantic City Convention Center. There are two other garages — the Trump Plaza, located on Atlantic Avenue between Missouri and Mississippi avenues, and the Sands garage between Indiana avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King avenue. However, both the Trump Plaza and the Sands garages are currently closed and not available to the public for parking. So, where will the visitors park?
The visitors are people who come to Atlantic City to shop at Tanger’s Outlet Shops, visit the Caesars and Bally’s casinos and stop at the Bass Pro Shops, which is set to open April 15. These visitors will also go to the Playground Pier’s entertainment center, dine in some of the finest restaurants in New Jersey, walk on the World Famous Boardwalk, go to the beach to enjoy a dip into the delightful Atlantic Ocean and enjoy all the others aspects of Atlantic City.
Please note, we are referring to the center city area from Mississippi to Michigan avenues. There are thousands of people who come here by automobile to enjoy all of the varied entertainment, retail and dining experiences noted. The Bass Pro Shops anticipates thousands visiting their highly regarded shop on a daily basis. The new activities on the Playground Pier, that will open several of their entertainment venues by July 4, also expects to draw thousands of people to enjoy their activities. In addition, there are thousands daily who shop at Tanger’s Outlet Shops, as well as the other retail units in the area.
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So, where will they park? The visitors want a moderately priced garage or parking lot to park their vehicle. The fees for parking in Atlantic City may vary, but they may go no higher than $25. We well remember the exorbitant parking price charged for the beach concerts. That will not happen again.
Atlantic City is in need of more parking sites. We can only hope that the closed casinos, Trump Plaza, the Sands and the Atlantic Club will open their garages for public use. With the numbers of visitors expected, there is little doubt they would make quite a few dollars operating their garages for parking.
Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. Email Pinky at: firstname.lastname@example.org