Atlantic Club To Remain Empty In AC As Stockton Deal Collapses

The pending deal between TJM and Stockton University for the Atlantic Club property dissolved after two months of negotiations fell through.

The Stockton University empire won’t be getting bigger.

This past week, both TJM Properties, which owns the Atlantic Club, and Stockton officials announced that the pending deal fell through.

In an interview with the Press of Atlantic City, TJM seems to put the blame on Stockton for passing on a sweetheart deal.

“Our organization feels that Stockton University will bring great economic development to Atlantic City, therefore [we] offered them a deal unlike any other, which unfortunately did not and will not happen moving forward,” TJM President Terence McCarthy said.

The university planned to knock down the casino and hotel and, according to reports, utilize the property’s parking garage.

Stockton deal third to fall through in past two years

The Atlantic Club property is, judging by the amount of interest in it, a desirable asset.

Over the past couple of years, three deals — Stockton included — failed to make it through the negotiation process.

Before the Stockton deal, R&R Development from Ventnor City wanted to build a water park on the property. The attraction would have been named Dolphin Village and would’ve boasted the following stats:

  • 100,000-square-foot property
  • 300-room hotel
  • Dining and entertainment venues
  • Rides
  • Wading pools

The attraction was deemed a haven for high rollers’ kids, but the deal went bust and Atlantic City never got its water park.

A third deal fell through in 2016 when another development group wanted to create a multi-purpose facility in which there would be a water park, shopping, and other attractions.

According to reports, the development group, Endeavor Property Group, couldn’t put together the funding it needed to finalize the deal.

Reason for third breakdown unknown

The property seems to have bad luck, as funding has fallen through twice. Interestingly, there has yet to be a solid theory as to why the Stockton deal fell through.

As mentioned earlier, quotes from TJM seems to indicate the fault is on Stockton. The university, in the meantime, offered cordial quotes about the back out.

“We appreciate all the time and hard work that has gone into this effort, and are particularly grateful to TJM properties,” Stockton Universty President Harvey Kesselman said. “Rest assured, we remain committed to Atlantic City and expanding our presence there. This is our future, and we will continue to try to make the best investments we can there.”

Stockton in Atlantic City

Stockton University’s presence in Atlantic City is grounded in its Gateway campus, a one-block property between Ventnor and Atlantic and across the street from O’Donnell Memorial Park.

The university’s website brands the Gateway campus as “beachfront living and learning” where students can “live, learn and enjoy the best of Atlantic City.”

In 2017, there was talk of Stockton acquiring the Revel Casino property for its Atlantic City campus but the deal never materialized. Ocean Resort Casino stands in its place now.

With the deal for the old Atlantic Club out the door, Stockton is likely back to square one with its plans to expand in AC.

Stockton University Gives Thumbs Up To Plans To Buy Former Atlantic Club In AC

Stockton University continues its aggressive growth plans by agreeing during a board meeting Aug. 8 to pursue the purchase of the former Atlantic Club in Atlantic City.

Stockton University continues its aggressive growth plans by announcing its intent to buy the shuttered Atlantic Club in New Jersey.

In its Aug. 8 meeting, the board of trustees unanimously voted in favor of buying the former casino. The approval gives Stockton President Harvey Kesselman permission to negotiate with TJM Properties, the current owner of the club.

The university will release the sale price once negotiations are complete.

“We are exploring, obviously, all possibilities in Atlantic City with the hope to expand the campus there,” Kesselman said after the vote to the Press of Atlantic City.

A revitalized Atlantic City

Many attribute the beginning of the revitalization efforts of Atlantic City with the openings of Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino in June.

Stockton University, however, has been a constant source of forward-thinking and innovative ideas focused on building the community.

Its commitment to strengthening the East Coast gaming mecca to its former glory began long before the renovation of the two formerly shuttered casinos started.

Stockton University’s interest in the Atlantic Club is not surprising. It has a history of purchasing property to help achieve its growth plans.

In fact, Kesselman said, “We’ve been discussing the possibility for several years now.”

Last week, the University sold the Seaview Hotel and Golf Club for $21 million to a Florida real estate holding company. It purchased the 104-year-old property in 2010 to provide student housing and address its growing enrollment at the time.

The sale of the hotel is what made the purchase of the Atlantic Club a viable option.

Buying the Atlantic Club makes sense

The university plans to open a new campus in Atlantic City in August. The new property will include academic and residential facilities. The goal is to provide a “learning community” that benefits the area and the state.

From Wednesday’s meeting:

“The Board of Trustees determined that the purchase of the Property will be a strategic capital investment to support the future growth of the Atlantic City campus, to provide additional opportunities to attract and recruit New Jersey students, and to stem the outmigration of New Jersey students who enroll in college and leave New Jersey…”

The Atlantic Club is located near the new campus, making it an ideal choice to accommodate Stockton University and its future growth plans.

Stockton University spokeswoman Diane D’Amico talks about the university’s growth:

“Certainly we are growing. There is no more room to expand in Galloway, and so we need to keep our options open, and we see Atlantic City as very promising. It’s part of our commitment to help revitalize the city.”

The property has been vacant since 2014 and includes:

  • Approximately nine acres of land with beach access
  • A nine-level parking garage
  • More than 50,000 square feet of office space
  • A 23-story hotel tower

As part of the sale, TJM will demolish the hotel tower. The parking garage, however, will stay intact.

More about the Atlantic Club

The property totals about 1.5 million square feet. Located on the southern end of The Boardwalk, it was the first and only “locals casino” in Atlantic City.

Its small size didn’t prevent it from being the top-grossing property in the early 1980s.

The property struggled to find a permanent home, though. During its time it operated under such brands as:

In the four years since it has been vacant, several buyers showed interest in the Atlantic Club. Financing the project proved to be troublesome and prevented the deals from closing.

Financing won’t be a problem for Stockton, however. The recent sale of the Seaview Hotel plus other shifts in its real estate portfolio, including offloading the Showboat Hotel, puts the university on a solid financial footing.

Atlantic City and Stockton University are making education a priority to avoid repeating its dependence on the NJ gambling market that threw the local economy in a tailspin.

Most agree that diversifying the city’s economy is an essential component of a revitalized Atlantic City.

Atlantic Club Casino Hotel Falling Apart Faster Than PokerStars’ Attempt To Purchase It

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, once the target of a purchase attempt by PokerStars, is literally coming apart. The NJ casino has been closed since 2014.

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel is falling apart faster than the world’s biggest online poker site’s deal to purchase the property once did.

The long-since shut down Atlantic City Boardwalk casino made headlines last week when part of its ceiling collapsed.

Apparently, no one was hurt when the covered entrance to the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel came crashing to the ground at around 4 a.m. local time this past Wednesday. Pictures of a pile of debris and ceiling tiles sitting in front of the property filled the pages of local newspapers.

No police officers or firefighters were dispatched to the property in the wake of the collapse. However, building owners TJM Properties have reportedly been contacted. They are expected to make repairs to the entranceway.

The original Golden Nugget

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel opened as the original Atlantic City Golden Nugget property in 1980. In 1983, it was the top-grossing casino in New Jersey.

Steve Wynn sold the casino for $440 million to Bally Manufacturing in 1987. The name was changed to Bally’s Grand Hotel and Casino. Hilton Hotels Corporation bought Bally’s and renamed the property Atlantic City Hilton in 1998.

In 2005, Resorts International Holdings bought the property. It ran Resorts Atlantic City and Atlantic City Hilton as a single entity for the next four years.

The property was renamed the ACH Casino in 2011. Less than a year later it was renamed The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel and dedicated as a local’s casino. Soon after, the properties brush with an online gambling giant began.

PokerStars wanted in

In a move most suspected was designed to get a foot in the door of the soon-to-open New Jersey online gambling industry, PokerStars entered into an agreement to purchase The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel for $15 million in December 2012. NJ online gambling industry regulations require online gambling site operators to have a connection to a brick and mortar Atlantic City casino.

PokerStars made an application for a gaming license with New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. The casino purchase was reportedly contingent on PokerStars receiving that license.

A decision on the license was expected by the end of April. It soon became clear that was not going to happen until at least August. Then, Atlantic Club Casino Hotel sent PokerStars a termination letter. It claimed PokerStars had missed the deadline to purchase the property.

PokerStars sued, but in May 2013 a superior court judge ruled PokerStars’ purchase deal was dead.

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closes

The casino closed in mid-January 2014 and has remained shut down. Soon after, Caesars Entertainment bought the property and Tropicana bought all the gaming equipment.

Florida developer TJM Properties bought the property from Caesars in May 2014 for $13.5 million.

TJM made some noise about reopening as a non-gaming property. Earlier this year the company announced another developer would be purchasing the property and turning it into an indoor waterpark. However, financing for that project soon fell through.

PokerStars has since partnered with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. They opened the PokerStars NJ poker and casino site in May 2016.

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No Deal: Plan To Turn AC’s Atlantic Club Into Water Park All Washed Up

The plan to turn the former Atlantic Club in Atlantic City into a water park had some cold water thrown on it.

The plan to turn the former Atlantic Club in Atlantic City into a water park had some cold water thrown on it.

Atlantic Club deal is off

According to the Associated Press, a deal to turn the shuttered resort into a hotel and water park — sans gambling — is no longer happening:

Florida-based TJM Properties said Thursday a deal to sell former Atlantic Club casino to a group of local investors is off. The company says the group, led by investor Ronald Young, failed to meet a Monday deadline to have its financing secured. …

 

“We were a little annoyed they would make an announcement like that without making sure they had their financing,” said Dale Schooley, TJM’s director of acquisitions.

That’s the second time in two years that a plan into turn the Atlantic Club into a water park fell through.

In March, a company called R&R Development Group indicated it would be purchasing the former casino and turning it into a “non-gambling family resort” called Dolphin Village at Atlantic Club. A similar deal announced in 2015 also slid off the rails.

Hope not lost for another deal

That’s not it for Atlantic Club, however. The AP reported that TJM had other possible buyers. The party trying to purchase it originally will also make another run at securing financing.

In any event, bad news had been piling up in AC this week. Tropicana owner Carl Icahn (who also recently sold the Trump Taj Mahal) is at odds with AC over taxes. There’s also the matter of likely layoffs for the police force looming over the city.

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AC’s non-gaming attractions

If and when the water park comes to fruition, it will add to a series of new non-casino attractions in AC:

It’s all more evidence that AC is trying to reinvent itself as more than a casino town.

Atlantic City Keeps Changing: Atlantic Club To Relaunch As Water Park Called ‘Dolphin Village’

The Atlantic Club closed in 2014. Now, the Atlantic City resort is not going to reopen as a casino. Instead, the dormant property will become a water park.

The Atlantic Club has been closed for several years. Now, the Atlantic City resort is not going to reopen as a casino. Instead, the dormant property is poised to become a water park.

What happened with AC’s Atlantic Club

Multiple media outlets reported on Monday that a company called R&R Development Group would be purchasing the former casino and turning it into a “non-gambling family resort” with an indoor water park. The name? Dolphin Village at Atlantic Club.

Other details that came out Monday:

  • R&R will invest $135 million to the property
  • The hotel accompanying the water park will have 300 hotel rooms.
  • The casino floor will be a go-cart track; there will also be a large arcade on site.
  • It will take just over a year for the project to be completed, once started.

The amount R&R paid for the property is not known.

What people were saying about Dolphin Village

The new resort was being hailed as more good news for Atlantic City.

More from the Press of Atlantic City, taking with R&R managing partner Ronald Young:

“The hotel will feature important restaurants and entertainment venues that will host many family-oriented activities and entertainment events year round,” Young said, adding the former Atlantic Club would become a “must-see” property again.

The Press of AC also reported that Young’s parter is Robert Reilert, who was once general counsel for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

And from the Associated Press:

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said Young brought a group of investors to the city a year ago with plans for a water park that did not come to fruition.

 

“However, I believe that this new location and timing are much better to assure success,” Guardian said.

The backstory of Atlantic Club

The Atlantic Club was the first of the city’s casinos to close its doors, in what would become a string of many. The casino declared bankruptcy in 2013, and following a liquidation auction, the casino closed in early 2014.

Caesars eventually bought the property. The Press of AC reported previously that TJM Properties Inc. in Florida bought the shuttered resort in 2014 for $13.5 million from Caesars. The property also has a deed restriction placed on it by Caesars, meaning casino gaming cannot take place there for a period of time.

The earlier plans that fell through involved Atlantic Club being sold to Endeavor Property Group out of Pennsylvania. Endeavor’s plan was much like the current one from R&R.

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Great time for AC reinventing itself

There has been a lot of good news for AC in a short period of time, despite the fact that the city is in the middle of a state takeover because of its financial issues:

It’s not clear if TEN AC — formerly Revelwill actually join these reopenings. Still, the reopening of Atlantic Club is the latest positive development in a town in need of some.

Image credit: Photo by Blue Diamond Photography used under license CC BY 2.0