The infamous Fox Manor Hotel is for sale, according to the big sign we saw on the side of the building while driving down Pacific Avenue the other day.
Reached for comment, the owner of the shuttered hotel/boarding house, Sean Reardon, referred us to his ongoing squabbles with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority but said he had no new news on the Fox, which he bought in December 2016 for $415,000 through his company, SMAC Hotels, according to property records. Discerning readers will note “Smack” (with a k) is a slang term for heroin, which seemed to be a big theme at the old Fox.
Reardon has been attending CRDA meetings and City of Atlantic City Council Meetings since the fall and says he is being unfairly fined by the CRDA.
He purchased a dilapidated building at 100 S. Texas Avenue–around the corner from the Fox–in September 2017 with the intention of renovating it and renting it out, maybe to Class II police officers, who need to establish residency in town, but the building was un-salvageable, so he knocked it down, he said in an interview.
At the direction of city officials, he said, he paved the resulting vacant lot and put up a little planter with trees in it (see above). Some time after that, CRDA began fining him for having a parking lot.
In public comments at a CRDA meeting in December, Reardon said some not-so-nice things about CRDA’s vacant-lot collection–they’re “filled with rubble and trash and weeds and everything else”–and asked the board directly why he was being fined. Chairman Robert Mulcahy referred to “other facts related to this situation that it’s not appropriate for me to go into here” and urged Reardon to have a private meeting with Lance Landgraf, which he’d already done (several times). Landgraf is the director of planning and development at the authority.
In a statement, a CRDA spox said Reardon is being fined for making improvements to his property without getting the proper approvals. “We have asked [him] to come in and get those approvals but he has refused.”
Reardon said he bought the Fox in order to close it down, which it currently is. That should make him a folk hero among the set who think the boarding houses are the root of much evil in Atlantic City.
He says he’ll be devoting his 2019 to publicizing the failings of city authorities.