The master plan strategy is organized
with initiatives to begin over one-, five- and
10-year timeframes focused around the
idea of an overall resort that integrates the
city, beach and casino industry. In a way, the
plan is an attempt to recreate Atlantic City’s
early 20th century heyday.
“You can’t go backward to 1910 or 1920,”
Mas says. “But you can get the essence of a
resort town or city in a modern sense,
updating the attractions for today. There
are certain assets Atlantic City has that the
others don’t, such as the boardwalk”—the
top rated one in the country, according to
National Geographic magazine.
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Atlantic City’s gaming industry continues to grow. The $2.4-billion Revel, gearing up for a Memorial Day weekend grand opening, will add 150,000 square feet of casino space to the market.
ever-changing series of displays.
The master plan also recommends the
development of seasonal events, most of
which will occur along the boardwalk and on
the beach, to be managed by a consulting
group retained by CRDA. A Dave Matthews
concert on the boardwalk last summer
attracted the younger demographic that JLL
is trying to reach. “Our job is to basically
identify the items that have to be improved
to attract private investment,” Mas says.
The near-term development initiatives,
which will be underwritten by CRDA and
the State of New Jersey, will act as a catalyst
to attract further corporate and institutional investment into the City by increasing tourism. The increased business should
create an economic climate that is more
conducive to development.
The boardwalk, agrees John Simones,
partner and design director of Jerde, must
be the top priority. “It’s why people come,”
he says. “Recreating that resort town helps
to increase the casino revenues. It helps to
revitalize the city and the work force. With
the casinos, the ocean, the boardwalk, the
amusement piers—if you analyze every-
thing, this is a great place to be. That’s
where our plan has an overall advantage.”
Another goal is to assimilate the board-
walk with the rest of the city, Simones says.
Plans call for the city side of the boardwalk
to be lined with attractive casino frontages
and shops, along with several substations of
the Atlantic City Police Department to
increase security. “We want to reinforce the
existing urban fabric and bring it to life
again,” he says.
If the initiative is successful, it’s expected
to spur private-sector investment for the
midterm, which will include larger projects
38 REAL ESTATE FORUM FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
Part of the ForumLOCAL Series