How About A Tiny Vacation Home?

Paul St. James has a campground along the Mays Landing-Somers Point road, but he lives most of the year in Phoenix. Over the winter he was watching a lot of tiny-home TV shows. “They have an entire channel. Fifty percent of the time they sell vacuum cleaners and the other fifty percent of the time they show mini homes.”

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CRDA Planning Officer Green Lights Beer Garden Project

A plan to open a beer garden on Atlantic City’s boardwalk is one step closer to launch after a public hearing last month. The planning officer for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which oversees the boardwalk and tourism district, last week recommended the beer garden project to CRDA’s board for approval. The board’s next meeting is on Tuesday. Some of the existing construction on the site was being demolished this Tuesday, presumably to make way for the beer garden. The company behind the project, Dectrinity, already runs the Bungalow beach bar and the Boardwalk bar next door to the proposed beer garden site at the corner with California Avenue.

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Former Rodeway Inn Could See Revival As Affordable Housing

The Rodeway Inn along the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township could be revived as garden apartments and townhouses, according to a developer’s plan that will go before EHT’s planning board on Monday. Eastern Pacific Development is seeking preliminary site plan approval for an affordable housing project that would turn the existing 77-unit motel into one-and two-bedroom garden apartments. Nine additional townhouses with two- and three- bedroom units would also be built, according to the planning board agenda. The developer is also proposing to demolish an existing office building on the site and add a children’s play area and a community area. “There’s a significant need for affordable housing right now,” said Hans Alpert, chief executive of Eastern Pacific Development.

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Boardwalk Beans: How a Quest for the Perfect Cup of Coffee Turned into a Business

Damon Germano and Gabrielle Cianfrani just wanted to make a better cup of coffee. Somewhere along the line, their personal mission turned into a business. Now, from a corner of Pleasantville not far from the old Ireland Coffee Company plant, Boardwalk Beans is roasting small batches of carefully-selected coffee for retail and wholesale customers. Germano used to work for Ireland, back when Ireland had a small store in one of the Atlantic City casinos. “I was really into coffee, I had the beret, the turtleneck – the whole thing,” he said.

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Boardwalk Hall Starbucks To Offer Outdoor Seating

The new Starbucks set to open at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall will have outdoor seating, according to a license agreement signed last week. It is not clear exactly when the Starbucks cafe will open. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in October agreed to chip in just shy of $600,000 to help refit the space at the entrance to Boardwalk Hall, with Starbucks paying a further $700,000. CRDA is also paying $2 million to rebuild bathrooms in Boardwalk Hall that have been unused for decades, but will presumably be available for Starbucks customers. Route 40 reported last month that attendance at Boardwalk Hall has been declining.

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Taj Mahal Deal Value Means High Reconstruction Costs

Hard Rock International and the Morris and Jingoli families will invest more than $300 million to reopen the shuttered Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, with the bulk of that money spent on reconstruction, according to financial documents. The Hard Rock, Jingoli and Morris team have not disclosed the price they paid to purchase the property, but it is not likely to be more than the $86 million combined valuation for both the Taj and Trump Plaza that their owner reported in a quarterly results statement on Wednesday. The Taj Mahal, opened to big fanfare in 1990 by Donald Trump, closed its doors to a trickle of customers in October, capping the end of a lengthy labor dispute with Local 54 UniteHere. Icahn Enterprises, the holding company of billionaire investor Carl Icahn, reported on Wednesday the value of its investment in the Taj and Trump Plaza fell $32 million to just $86 million at the end of December from September last year. The two properties were valued at $206 million just a few months earlier at the end of June.

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A Real-Life Sustainability Experiment At Stockton

Imagine knowing that when you graduate from college, you have the skills to run your own profitable farming business. All you need to start is a small loan for equipment and a patch of land – as little as an acre would do. It might seem like a fantasy for a lot of today’s undergraduates who feel buried under student loans and job uncertainty. But a project at Stockton University is working toward giving students a real-life, tangible profession. “Land is not hard to get to farm – it’s hard to get to own, but it’s not hard to get to farm,” said Ron Hutchison, an associate professor of sustainability and biology who also helps coordinate Stockton’s Sustainable Farm.”We’d really like to send our students out with a checklist of things that they need: If you can get a loan from the bank for $40,000 and you have access to land, here’s the tools you need, have at it.”

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It’s No Longer the ‘Trump’ Taj Mahal

Trump Taj Mahal

Our touchy president’s name (“Trump”) has been removed from Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal Casino, the Eighth Wonder of the World. The casino has been owned by Carl Icahn, who closed it last fall, out of spite (JK!). But Trump had an agreement to keep his name on the classy property. Apparently that’s changed. Here’s a facade of the Taj as it looked in August 2016.

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A Bistro With Big Ambition

Michael Brennan’s first job out of high school was at Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia. He says he walked into the restaurant at age 18, in an ill-fitting shirt, to find Chef Georges Perrier standing in the door. Perrier hired him on the spot to work front-of-house, probably because restaurant week was coming up and they were about to get slammed. Now 24, Michael’s got his own restaurant, Cardinal Bistro, in Ventnor, but he still seems to have a sense of timing.In the middle of what was supposed to be a “soft opening” this summer, the restaurant critic Craig LaBan wrote a review calling him “one of the young chefs to watch this year at the Shore.” Suddenly, the kitchen was full-throttle.

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Baltimore Grill Sale Close?

The hot chat Saturday night during our bike bar crawl was that the “Wet Willie’s Consortium” is buying the Baltimore Grill—Atlantic City’s iconic, much beloved and completely miraculous spaghetti-and-pizza restaurant—from the Tarsitanos and Riches, who have owned it for decades. The Baltimore Grill is impossible to describe (for me anyway) objectively. It’s like a scene from Mean Streets (this one) has been lifted out of 1973 and carried forward through time to be dropped down across the street from the school where you went to kindergarten. It’s an institution. Wet Willie’s sells slushies spiked with high-octane rum out of big swirly vats, like you see on Spring Break.

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