Atlantic Club Owner Says Condition of Former Atlantic City Casino Worse than Anticipated

The owners of the former Atlantic Club Casino Hotel on the south end of the Boardwalk say the condition of the rundown resort that’s sat vacant since it closed in January of 2014 was worse than expected.

Atlantic Club Atlantic City casinos Colosseo Group
The former Atlantic Club casino and hotel on the Atlantic City Boardwalk has sat vacant for nearly a decade. The property’s new owners have grand plans in store for the complex that includes luxury condos and a boutique high-end hotel. (Image: AP)

In the fall of 2019, TJM Properties, a real estate development firm based in Florida agreed to sell the Atlantic Club to Colosseo Development Group. TJM acquired the former casino from Caesars Entertainment in May 2014 for just $13.5 million.

Caesars never actually operated the Atlantic Club but instead, purchased the casino out of bankruptcy with Tropicana Entertainment for about $23.4 million. Tropicana acquired the casino’s physical slot machines, table games, and player database while Caesars took control of the building’s physical structure and acreage.

Tropicana paid the bulk of the $23.4 million, primarily for the Atlantic Club’s player database. Prior to its closing, the Atlantic Club was a locals-oriented casino that featured the marketing slogan, “A casino for the rest of us.”

Caesars’ liquidation price for the Atlantic Club, which previously operated as a gaming resort under several other brands, including the Golden Nugget, Bally’s Grand, The Grand, and Atlantic City Hilton, came after Caesars decided Atlantic City was oversaturated.

Caesars decided to sell the property because it believed fewer casinos in Atlantic City would allow the company’s more prominent resorts in town, specifically, Caesars and Harrah’s, to prosper.

After closing the Atlantic Club, Caesars shuttered its Showboat casino in August 2014. The Revel and Trump Plaza followed in September. The Trump Taj Mahal marked the fifth Atlantic City casino to close when it permanently powered down its slot machines in October 2016.

AC Back On

It’s been more than nine years since the Atlantic Club closed down but, despite lingering economic concerns in New Jersey’s casino town, Colosseo believes the time is finally ripe to produce new life in the former Atlantic Club.

Colosseo, a residential and commercial real estate developer based in New York City, is led by Rocco Sebastiani.

Company officials said soon after acquiring the shuttered casino that Colosseo Development would renovate the property and reopen the resort as an 800-room nongaming hotel. Upon inspecting the property at 3400 Pacific Avenue, Sebastiani said the structure was worse than anticipated.

We had the plan to go in and modernize the furniture and the fixtures. But when we got in there, the systems didn’t work. It was really, really bad,” Sebastiani told ENR New York this week, a construction news source.

Sebastiani said not only was the building’s façade falling onto the Boardwalk and streets below, but the interior was severely damaged by water intrusion and years of neglect.

As a result, Colosseo has been making the necessary repairs and improvements to bring the building up to code and ready the property for a major renovation.

Atlantic Club Future

Colosseo is preparing to transform the Atlantic Club into a mixed-use complex that Sebastiani has dubbed a “condo-tel.” The company is planning to transform the property’s two towers into a high-end boutique hotel and a luxury residential condominium complex.

The 23-story South Tower will feature more than 130 condos ranging in size from 1,800 square feet to 3,000 square feet. The North Tower will be a 330-room hotel. Most of the condos will feature 360-degree panoramic views of Atlantic City and the Atlantic Ocean.

“Growing up in Florida gave me inspiration. If you come here to go to the beach, why come here and not be able to look out the window?” Sebastiani asked.

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