The show-stopper at a development event yesterday in Atlantic City was a plan to bring a walkable, bikeable, eatery-slash-coffee-spot-slash-hipster-hangout to the long-neglected center of town, right off the boardwalk. The guys behind the Tennessee Ave Transformation envision something like New Orleans’s Bourbon Street or Philadelphia’s South Street – a place chock-full of people, with open seating outside of cafes and bars, park-like areas and spots for music and other performances. “We want to infuse the street with a ton of energy and art from the asphalt up. We’re going to make it the home base for high quality markets with great crafts and food,” said Evan Sanchez, originally from Pleasantville, one of the #ThisIsAC gang and a startup advisor. Sanchez is working with Mark Callazzo (The Iron Room, 1 N. Boston) and Zenith Shah (a financial buff who grew up in AC and also recently moved back to the area) on the development, which is set to get under way this spring, Callazzo and Sanchez told delegates at the Urban Land Institute meeting in Atlantic City yesterday. The first part of the project is a coffee shop. You can find more details here.
Another buzz-worthy project from the ULI event was an update on the Stockton Aviation Research & Technology Park, complete with its ‘thunder room’ that will include state-of-the-art facilities to allow video-conferencing for aircraft maintenance as well as host workshops and presentations from academics around the country. You can read more about that (and the Tennessee Ave project and Stockton’s Island Campus) here via The Press of Atlantic City’s John DeRosier. Coincidentally, there is also a project at the Cape May airport for a new commercial building that already has 50 percent occupancy and has yet to be built – find out more about that here via SNJ Today. (Construction is set to begin on the SARTP project this spring – groundwork started late last year – and the operators have been coy about potential tenants since they have not yet hired a leasing agent, but they say there is high interest in the project.)
Women Standing For Local Elections
Since the Women’s March on Washington – which coincided with an Atlantic County freeholder sharing a sexist meme on Facebook – more women have decided to stand in local elections for the first time. Amy Rosenberg of The Philadelphia Inquirer interviewed Caren Fitzpatrick, of Linwood, and Thelma Witherspoon, of Hamilton Township, who are seeking the democratic nomination for Atlantic County freeholders at large. Both women said they would focus on the needs of Atlantic County residents “through economic development, tourism throughout Atlantic County, and more fiscal responsibility in government.”
The rest of today’s headlines include an investigation of an Atlantic City cop who was recorded threatening a man on video, Gov. Christie being rude about Phillies fans (“The Phillies suck…They’re an awful team. They’re an angry, bitter fan base…”) and have you heard how warm it’s going to be this weekend? All that and more below.