The Atlantic Club, the first of four casinos to close in Atlantic City during 2014, may have finally found a long-term buyer for its shuttered property.
According to recently filed property records, a Pennsylvania real estate company affiliated with the Endeavor Property Group LLC has agreed to buy the venue for an undisclosed price. The agreement of sale was filed on December 29 at the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office.
While the sale price may be unknown for now, it will be revealed when the sale is closed and a deed for the property is filed.
Buyer Specializes in Residential Projects
Endeavor is a company based in Devon, Pennsylvania, and best-known for specializing in senior housing and other residential projects. That could signal that the Atlantic Club might be turned into a residential development itself, though no public statements have been made yet about the company’s plans for the former casino.
“From the beginning, I saw it as an opportunity to cater to retirees or second-home buyers who would love to be at the Jersey Shore,” said Israel Posner, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. “I think senior housing is exactly what the doctor ordered.”
Located at the southern end of Atlantic City’s iconic Boardwalk, the Atlantic Club’s property could be a prime location for residents who want easy access to other nearby amenities, such as those at the Tropicana.
The Tropicana and Caesars originally combined to acquire the Atlantic Club’s assets for $23.4 million in a December 2013 bankruptcy sale; Caesars, which took control of the property and buildings, then sold the venue to TJM Properties in May 2014 for $13.5 million.
No Casino on Atlantic Club Site
While the rapid turnover for the property may seem strange, there was a purpose to Caesars’ brief stewardship over the casino. That allowed the firm to place a deed restriction on the property, prohibiting any new owners from operating a casino there.
The closure of the Atlantic Club was the first and least surprising of the four casino shutdowns to take place in Atlantic City last year. The resort had long been the city’s poorest-performing venue, and in 2013, the owners searched for a buyer willing to take over the struggling casino.
The first apparent buyer was the Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt. In January 2013, Rational announced that it had reached an agreement to buy the casino, a plan that would have given PokerStars a valuable foothold in the American gaming market.
But problems quickly emerged, as the American Gaming Association (AGA) came out against allowing the Rational Group to purchase a casino.
As regulators delayed making a decision on the purchase, the Atlantic Club’s owners eventually decided to pull out altogether in May 2013. The Rational Group sued in an attempt to either save the purchase or recoup the $11 million they had already given to the casino to help it stay afloat, but found no success, and abandoned their attempts to buy the casino in July.
Finally, on January 13, 2014, the Atlantic Club closed its casino doors for good.