Atlantic Club Has Another Interested Buyer, Future of Long-Shuttered Atlantic City Casino Unknown

Posted on: November 15, 2018, 07:31h. 

Last updated on: November 15, 2018, 07:31h.

The Atlantic Club has sat vacant since shuttering in 2014, but the Boardwalk property might soon have a new owner.

Atlantic Club Atlantic City casino
More than four years after closing, the Atlantic Club has an interested suitor. (Image: Andy Borysowski/Shutterstock)

Advanced Consulting, a real estate firm based in New York, tells the Press of Atlantic City that it’s in “heavy negotiations” with current owners TJM Properties to acquire the former casino resort. “Work is being done,” Advanced Consulting CEO Gem Lake revealed.

Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, TJM bought the Atlantic Club in May 2014 for just $13.5 million. The company has been shopping the resort ever since.

Along with its Atlantic City property, TJM owns the former Harrah’s Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi. That closed resort is also on the market.

Future Unknown

Atlantic City is now home to nine casinos following the summer openings of Hard Rock and Ocean Resort. Gaming revenue is soaring thanks to the new properties, with total win (land-based, online, and sports betting) at $2.15 billion through September, a 5.4 percent premium on 2017.

There are concerns, however, that Hard Rock and Ocean Resort are poaching from the seven other casinos. Six have reported less win in 2018, with Golden Nugget being the exception.

Atlantic Club is falling into disrepair, quite literally. Earlier this year, parts of the building’s exterior began crumbling off and falling onto the Boardwalk. And in the fall of 2017, the entrance ceiling came crashing down.

Opened in 1980 by Steve Wynn as the Golden Nugget, the resort was a popular celebrity hangout in its heyday. Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. are just a few of the notable A-listers who performed there.

Deals Fall Through

Like the building itself, several deals for the Atlantic Club have fallen apart.

In January 2016, a real estate development group in Pennsylvania says it’s buying the closed casino and will turn it into a waterpark. The firm fails to come up with the funding, and the agreement is terminated. In April 2017, another group has its sights on a waterpark, but again financing isn’t obtained and TJM cancels the arrangement.

The most recent acquisition came through Stockton University. The school’s board signed off on buying the property in August, with the plan being to demolish the 23-story hotel to make way for new construction. The nine-story parking garage would have remained.

Stockton recently opened its $176 million Atlantic City campus near the Atlantic Club. The university also sold Seaview Resort for $21 million, which was money that was going to be used to acquire the Boardwalk property.

However, Stockton bylaws mandate a 60-day due diligence period. TJM said it wasn’t willing to wait, and new interest emerged while dealing with the school.

“Stockton University negotiated a very good deal to purchase the property, but the university needed far more time then we were willing to provide without any assurances,” TJM Properties President Terence McCarthy explained. “Our organization feels that Stockton University will bring great economic development to Atlantic City, therefore offered them a deal unlike any other, which unfortunately did not and will not happen.”