July 29, 2022

Vacant Lot Watch, Donut Edition

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Photo taken in July 2020.

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. When we last checked in with them two years ago this summer, they were getting started on construction for the Somers Point Drip ‘n’ Scoop location but said they were battling funding issues and COVID-19-related permitting delays in Atlantic City. Now, though, Atlantic City is considering making a Section 108 loan to the project at 4400 Ventnor Ave, backed by Community Development Block Grant money. Fingers crossed…

Atlantic City agreed in mid-August to release funds for the project. In a public notice, the city said “the total funding from the City is $380,000, for a total project cost of $1,776,935.” The project proposes creatin 2,345 square feet of first-floor commercial space and about7,600 square feet of second-floor residential space consisting of two one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments. The notice said the city would approach the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the funds at the end of the month. It is not clear how soon work might begin at the site. HUD details on the section 108 loan program explain that often the program is used to secure additional private funding. If that is the case, work might not start until more of the project financing is covered. Idell did not respond to an additional request for comment.

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