February 24, 2020

You May Have Missed… Feb. 24

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Lower Chelsea bulkhead during an August high tide.

Welcome to what we hope will be a regular feature that rounds up public documents filed in recent weeks to report on new goings on around Atlantic City.

Here’s a roundup of happenings from recent public documents, covering everything from sports betting and the Meadowlands to liquor licenses and new flood-related projects in the city:

  • The City of Atlantic City is in discussions with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the Atlantic City Arts Foundation and the African American historic museum to revitalize a building on Kentucky Avenue. The city would also like to put a recording studio in the building for city kids to write and produce music and a television studio, which could be used to produce marketing that helps promote the city. Source: Atlantic City Executive Council meeting minutes. Meanwhile the city plans to make changes to a previous budget that would affect $85,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding for the Chicken Bone Beach Youth Jazz Institute at 726 N. Indiana Ave. Source: Public notice.
  • Meadowlands is making $10 million a week from sports betting, according to Michael Weinstein, chief executive of ARK Restaurants Inc. “We still maintain in our own minds at least that when New York starts to issue licenses for downstate casinos that New Jersey will have to react. We think that Atlantic City is still struggling, that’s actual,” Weinstein told investors on a call to discuss Ark’s results from last quarter. “We think once the downstate casinos come in place in New York, those Atlantic City casinos will suffer. There is [a] new casino being built in Philadelphia. We think that also impacts Atlantic City. Meadowlands is ideally positioned and it’s proving itself with sports betting. FanDuel are [a] partner. We’re doing onsite at the casino at the Meadows Racetrack…about $10 million a week in gaming and betting. As a whole…that is better than we expected.” Source: Quarterly transcript. More recently, Weinstein repeated that he does not expect New Jersey to act on permitting a casino at the Meadowlands until casinos open in downstate New York. “We don’t think anything seriously will be considered by the…New Jersey State Legislature until New York has announced state betting, and that’s probably going to come next year, and we’ll see how New Jersey reacts,” he said. Source: Quarterly transcript.
  • Developer Pat Fasano is applying to buy a liquor license previously held by the owner of the Allure Gentlemen’s Dinner Theater at 1075 N. Albany Ave (one of the empty bars on the Black Horse Pike). Fasano is applying to buy the license with Thomas Jannarone, a lawyer who represents bars and nightclubs. Source: Public notice. The liquor license was seized by the state from the gentlemen’s club for unpaid taxes in 2017.  Fasano is building a 10-room shipping container hotel with a seasonal bar and retail space on vacant lots between New York Ave and St James Place. Fasano also owns the former Momma Mott’s property at 143-151 S. New York Ave and he is working with developers Evan Sanchez and Zenith Shah, who ran the former Hayday Coffee shop on Tennessee Ave, to convert the location into a restaurant, bar, lounge and six-room boutique hotel.
  • The Atlantic City Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is planning improvements to its location at 913 North Indiana Ave. A public hearing on the application will be held before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Feb. 27 at City Hall at 10:00 am. Source: Public Notice.
  • Under CRDA’s plan to help developers renovate vacant rooming houses in the city, the owners of 26 South Kentucky Ave have applied for a loan of up to $328,800 to convert the property into a residential and retail building. Source: Meeting agenda.
  • Councilman Jesse Kurtz’s proposal for a 3% tax on short-term (under 30 day) rentals, as well as a $1-per-day fee that would go toward the city’s Special Events budget had its second and final reading last week. The tax and fee would be collected by the listing agent or platform. The ordinance would also provide for the regulation of these properties through a special seasonal certificate of occupancy permit. Source: City Council Package
  • The city is reviewing a redevelopment plan for sections of Trenton Avenue, to be used for Stockton university student housing. Source: City Council Package
  • A contract* set to be awarded to Albert Marine Construction for $424,6900 to replace the bulkhead at North Massachusetts Ave (and make stormwater drainage improvements) was not acted upon, in response to an inquiry from city council about the job specs. Source: City Council Package *CORRECTED 2/24, an earlier version of this report incorrectly stated the contract was awarded.

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