Three new retail cannabis dispensaries and one 125,000-foot cannabis growing facility are seeking permission to open in Atlantic City. The dispensaries are looking to occupy existing buildings that were previously a soup kitchen, a check-cashing location and a video rental store, while the growing facility would be a newly-constructed building covering most of a city block.
Atlantic City is different from other municipalities in New Jersey. Citizens can directly elect the mayor and a local council representative, but planning and development for large swathes of city property are under state control through the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. In addition, all spending by the city government is overseen by the state, under emergency powers enacted in 2016 and extended in 2021.
Atlantic City’s Bangladeshi community is one of the largest minority groups in the city with a significant voice in local politics. Since former Mayor Don Guardian in 2013 attributed his surprise election in part to a door-to-door strategy that connected him with the Bangladeshi community, other politicians have made an effort to attend the group’s events and meet with community leaders.
Baltic Ave Canal. The city is seeking bidders for the second phase of the Baltic Avenue drainage canal project. This phase will see the pump station built out at Atlantis Ave. Bids are due on Sept. 20.
Hundreds of Atlantic City kids this year got their first ever taste of city-run summer camps. Now the city is looking to make sure it can replicate the experience next year as well as expand its recreation services to seniors and other underserved residents. Years of financial difficulties and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that Atlantic City was unable to staff a recreation department. This spring, however, the city began hiring to build out its youth services, senior services and multicultural offices. Mayor Marty Small said this had been a passion of his and he had been determined since taking office to make more services available to both young people and senior citizens in Atlantic City.
Endicott Emergency. Atlantic City issued a “repair, occupy and/or demolish” notice to 209 S Tennessee Ave, an unoccupied former rooming house on the beach block. A hearing on the property was scheduled for July 20, but the outcome was unknown and officials at City Hall did not respond to questions about the property. Wind Power. The city granted final site plan approval to Orsted Wind Power North America to build its Atlantic City operations and maintenance facility at 600-700 N Delaware Ave, in the Inlet.
Please see the update posted on Aug. 18, 2022 to last paragraph. The vacant commercial-plus-residential space at 4400 Ventnor Ave, between Bartram and Aberdeen Aves has been tempting us for several years with its “coming soon” signs for a Drip ‘n’ Scoop location. But perhaps it will become less vacant some time soon? The owner, under the business name 4400 Investments, is Robert Idell and family, which owns Drip ‘n’ Scoop and other Ocean City restaurants.
Atlantic City residents can now ice skate for free at the Atlantic City Skate Zone. The city acquired the ice rink at Bader Field from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority earlier this year and the council passed an ordinance establishing free skating for residents during designated times. Residents can skate for free on Fridays and Sundays between 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. More days will be announced, according to a recent city flyer. An ordinance set the public skate general admission price for non-residents at $10.
Last Sunday, four swim-capped heads bobbed in the West Canal, a section of Absecon Island’s bay that separates Ventnor Heights from the marshes that stretch toward Margate. The swimmers followed a boat and each trailed behind them a large, fluorescent-yellow float. Other water users may have wondered what the strange procession was about.
The swimmers are local high school students and on Tuesday, August 9, they will form a relay team to take part in the Jim Whelan Open Water Festival’s signature event, the 56th Around The Island Swim. They are training to each swim a section of the 22.75 miles (36.6 kilometers) race around Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport. “We’ve been swimming all our lives, so it’s not really that different for us.
Hot food will once again be on offer on Pennsylvania Avenue. Sister Jean’s Soup Kitchen, which closed three years ago, now has city approval to reopen in a new location on the same street, but further away from the beach and tourism district. Sister Jean’s moved into St Monica’s Church at 108 N Pennsylvania and has been operating as a food pantry, a closet that provides used clothing and the home to a large community garden run by Communities Revolutionizing Open Public Spaces (C.R.O.P.S.). According to the organization’s website, building work is being done at the church in order to open the kitchen, and, “Take out meals will be an option soon.” People connected to the organization did not respond to further questions about the planned reopening date. Sister Jean’s original location on the corner of Pennsylvania and Pacific Avenues closed in February, 2019.
The Atlantic City Ballet canceled two shows in a row. An official at the ballet declined to comment about the cancellations when we sent an email. A performance of Carmen was canceled with two days’ notice last month and the March performance of a Midsummer Night’s Dream was canceled the day of the performance. Although comments were disabled on the ballet’s Facebook page, some dancers expressed their frustration with the cancelations on social media, commenting that they were also informed at the last minute. The ballet company was formed by Phyllis Papa in 1982.
Boraie Development has paid $1.75 million for a series of lots next to its Atlantic City apartment complex, 600 NoBe. Wasseem Boraie said in an email that he bought it “just to clean up the area and fence it off so people don’t park cars there anymore,” adding that it “looks ridiculous next to our fully occupied beautiful 600 NOBE!” The newly-acquired lots sit to the Inlet side of the apartment complex. Boraie already owns the block to the Ventnor side of 600 NoBe, which is used for guest parking. The lots that Boraie bought in February make up a large fraction of the two half blocks on either side of Congress Avenue and between Pacific and Atlantic Avenues. They include an interest in the building (currently home to a barber salon) on the corner of Congress and Atlantic, but Boraie’s acquisition does not include South Inlet stalwart Mel’s Furniture.