Changing Tide: Millennial-Driven Apartment Development Planned for Atlantic City

The apartment building at 1 North Boston Avenue | Via Google Street View

The apartment building at North Boston and Atlantic Avenues | Via Google Street View

It seems like the lion share of development in Philadelphia these days is geared at capturing the ever-wandering attention of the young professional, also known as millennials. No matter what you call them, their influence isn’t only being felt in the City of Brotherly Love. Head southeast about 60 miles and there is an interesting apartment conversion about to take place that will look to serve the young workforce of Atlantic City.

Mark Callazzo wears a few hats in the region. For one, he’s the CEO of Alpha Funding Solutions, the lending and development team from Lakehurst, New Jersey behind the renovation of a former apartment building at 1 North Boston Avenue. He’s also the owner of the Atlantic City Bottle Co. and The Iron Room, a speakeasy restaurant in Atlantic City that happens to employ a few young people. Before the CEO Callazzo got involved in the renovation, he polled some of the “kids” at his restaurant to see what they thought of the city. The results? None of them live in A.C., mainly “because there is no good, affordable, cool housing,” said Callazzo. “And that’s what we’re looking to do.”

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Trump Plaza Could Be Closed for 10 Years

Trump Plaza in November 2014

Trump Plaza in November 2014, after it had closed. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Trump Plaza was the last casino to close in Atlantic City’s tumultuous 2014, shutting down on September 16th after 30 years in business. Now, it may not re-open for another decade.

As reported by the Associated Press, Trump Entertainment Resorts is seeking a deed restriction on the property that would prohibit it from being used as a casino for a decade.

Trump Entertainment Resorts made the move due to a bill that just passed the New Jersey Senate last week. The bill, which has already passed the assembly, would replace property taxes them with a payment-in-lieu of taxes of $120 million for all A.C. casinos. Casinos would not be able to appeal. It applies to any building that operated as a casino for at least part of 2014, which includes Trump Plaza. “The Plaza could be required to make mandatory payments under the PILOT program notwithstanding the fact that it generates no revenue and its hotel rooms are closed,” Trump Entertainment Resorts wrote in a bankruptcy court filing.

The filing, per the AP, says that Showboat was kept out of the PILOT program with a similar deed restriction. (Yes, the same Showboat casino that also has a legal covenant with Trump Entertainment Resorts restricting it for use as a casino. Atlantic City is confusing.) Read more »

FIRST LOOK: Phase 1 of AC’s The Playground, T-Street, is Pretty Darn Awful

One of T-Street's venues.

One of T-Street’s venues.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but…oh, you know how the rest goes.

Unfortunately, in the case of the first phase of Atlantic City’s The Playground, called T-Street, that lipstick is from the dollar store. Everything about the “new” venue that is trying to save what was formerly known as The Pier literally looked cheap, poorly-constructed, and geared towards the barely post-pubescent college crowd. Read more »

What’s on the Menu at the Playground

playground-sign-via-playground-940Bart Blatstein’s The Playground opens tomorrow in Atlantic City. And on “T Street,” the indoor street lined with seven live music venues, the food is being provided by Garces Events.

In the time since the project announced, the restaurant group has created a menu of bar snacks, and hand-held foods that are designed for taking from venue to venue, as the Playground allows guests to pass through its venues. The food menu is the same for all of the venues, while the beer lists and custom cocktails are specific to each concept.

For food there are snacks, Mexican pizzas, loaded fries (including the Abe Froman’s topped with bratwurst, cheese curds, and sauerkraut – Garces is just not giving up on Abe Froman), Nashville hot chicken, burgers and a section called “Riviera,” which inexplicably includes German style sausages.

Check out more on the food and drink »

Boutique Casinos Closer to Reality in Atlantic City

Atlantic City at dusk, November 2014

Photo | Dan McQuade

It was more than four years ago that Chris Christie signed legislation approving new boutique casinos in Atlantic City. Despite interest from a few groups and one submitted proposal, no boutique casinos ever opened. Then, four large casinos closed in 2014.

But the interest in boutique casinos remains, and this week an assembly panel advanced a bill that would ease some of the requirements for smaller casinos.

The old bill required one of two boutique casinos to eventually expand to a casino with 500 rooms, and mandated both boutique casinos in the pilot program be new construction. The new bill would eliminate both requirements; the new casinos would still need to have at least 200 rooms to also operate gambling. Read more »

The First Phase of The Playground Is Opening This Weekend

Concept for The Playground's T Street.

Concept for The Playground’s T Street.

With record speed, the first phase of The Playground, known as “T Street,” is officially opening its doors to the public this Friday in Atlantic City.

The Playground is Bart Blatstein‘s reinvigoration program for the Pier Shops at Ceasars, which will hold 14 music venues, two private clubs, a bowling alley and a massive sports bar when all’s said and done. Since we’ve already talked venues, attractions, and construction, how about we talk eats?

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10 Festivals to Visit Outside the City This Summer

Photo by littlemoresunshine/Flickr

You  may see something like this at the Balloon Festival in Readington, New Jersey. | Photo by littlemoresunshine/Flickr

Summer is finally, officially upon us. Because the city can get a bit stifling over these warmest of months, we’ve put together a list of adventures worth doing outside of town, where you’ll find more trees and shores than sun-attracting concrete. Some are kind of unusual, many are kid-friendly and all are wildly entertaining.

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WATCH: That Time Donald Trump Hung With Michael Jackson in AC

After pretending he’d run several times for decades, yesterday Donald Trump made a big announcement: He is actually running for president.

Who knows how serious he is this time. He still needs to file paperwork with the FEC. But he held a big announcement yesterday, and media outlets are covering it.

Trump’s run reminds me of one of the weirder random old TV clips on YouTube, a clip from an old episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. In it, The Donald hangs with Michael Jackson at the opening of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

Did you see that? The Trump/Jackson meeting was as big as The Beatles’ first appearance in America, according to Robin Leach. Read more »

NeNe Leakes Might Be Opening a Store in Atlantic City


According to the always-reputable TMZ,  NeNe Leakes — the brash queen of Atlanta housewives, fledgling Broadway star, wig aficionado and champion shade-thrower — is scoping out Atlantic City real estate so that she may one day open a clothing store.  Read more »

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