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.
Bill would rename part of 322 for fallen NJ Trooper–Legislation Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo and Gordon Johnson sponsored to honor the memory of State Trooper Frankie Williams, who in December was tragically killed in the line of duty, was advanced Wednesday by an Assembly committee. The Daily Journal
Two Democrats Announce Candidacy for Atlantic County Freeholder Board–Two Democrats announced their candidacies Thursday for the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Press of Atlantic City
Investigation Underway After AC Cop Recorded Threatening Man on Video–Police Chief Henry White has ordered an Internal Affairs investigation after an officer was caught on a cellphone video cursing and threatening a man. Press of Atlantic City
New Unfinished Building at Local Airport Already Accepting Tenants–Though construction is still underway for a new commercial building at a South Jersey regional airport, occupancy is already at 50 percent. Officials with the Delaware River and Bay Authority Commission, or DRBA, approved four new leases for the new light industrial building located at the Cape May Airport. www.snjtoday.com
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Clearly Doesn’t Like The Phillies or Their Fans–New Jersey Governor and unabashed Mets fan Chris Christie isn’t in the business of endearing himself from a sports-fan perspective to many of his constituents, apparently. A good portion of New Jersey is in the Philadelphia area -- notably “South Jersey” which is nearly all Philly fans -- but yet, Christie still said this Wednesday night on SNY when Philadelphia was mentioned: CBSSports.com
PHH Cuts South Jersey Jobs, Loses $202M, Exits Joint Venture–PHH Corp has exited a joint venture and announced job cuts in its South Jersey headquarters while also revealing that it lost $202 million last year as it completed an almost year-long review of its strategic options that resulted in plans to operate a much smaller, focused mortgage company. The Mount Laurel, NJ-based company said Wednesday that it would end its joint venture with Realogy Holdings Corp Philadelphia Business Journal
Newly Proposed Project Could Overhaul Tennessee Ave. in Atlantic City–A newly proposed project to overhaul Tennessee Avenue made waves with investors Thursday at an Urban Land Institute seminar in the Convention Center. The Tennessee Avenue Transformation, headed by Alpha Funding Solutions CEO Mark Callazzo and Authentic City Partners’ Evan Sanchez, would feature restaurants, bars and stores on the road between the Boardwalk and Pacific Avenue. Press of Atlantic City