Atlantic Club Sale to Stockton University Falls Through, Shuttered Resort Could Reopen as Casino

Posted on: September 28, 2018, 11:30h. 

Last updated on: September 28, 2018, 07:33h.

The long shuttered Atlantic Club in Atlantic City is in a state of disarray, with exterior parts of the building crumbling. This week, another aspect of the property fell through when its current owners announced that a planned sale to Stockton University was off.

Atlantic Club Stockton University Atlantic City
Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman had his eyes set on the school buying the Atlantic Club, but the plan won’t be executed. (Image: Wayne Parry/AP/Edward Lea/Press of Atlantic City/

TJM Properties, a real estate acquisition and management company based in Florida that purchased Atlantic Club in May 2014 for $13.5 million, says while it had wished to sell the building and property to Stockton, the school simply needs too much time before a close could occur.

Stockton University negotiated a very good deal to purchase the property, but the university needed far more time then we were willing to provide to them 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 moving forward,” McCarthy said.

Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman thanked TJM for its willingness to sell the Boardwalk property, and reiterated the school’s commitment to Atlantic City.

Saga Continues

Stockton University recently opened its $176 million Atlantic City Campus located just two blocks south of Atlantic Club at the intersection of Atlantic, Pacific, and Albany avenues. Kesselman and the school board approved buying the shuttered resort, and planned to raze the 23-story hotel tower to make way for new construction.

However, the board conditioned that a 60-day due diligence period be enforced to allow a proper examination of the property and a review of how it should be best utilized. TJM wasn’t willing to wait. “While working with Stockton University, we had many interested parties and offers that we can now pursue,” McCarthy revealed.

It’s the third time an offer for the Atlantic Club has been withdrawn.

January 2016: Pennsylvania developer Endeavor Property Group says it can’t come up with the money to turn the Atlantic Club into a waterpark. TJM and Endeavor call off the sale.

April 2017: Another company that liked the waterpark scheme, R&R Development in Ventnor, New Jersey, also can’t obtain financing after striking a deal with TJM.

Casino Plans?

TJM purchased the Atlantic Club from Caesars Entertainment, but a deed restriction remains on the resort that prevents it from reopening as a casino. Caesars sold the Atlantic Club and Showboat in an effort to reduce gaming competition amid a plummeting regional economy.

TJM says it’s reached out to Caesars regarding the possibility of having the deed lifted. The real estate company didn’t reveal whether there’s been progress.

It might not be an attractive proposal for Caesars considering Hard Rock and Ocean Resort opened in June. Caesars still operates three casinos in Atlantic City with its namesake property, Bally’s, and Harrah’s.

While the two additional gaming floors have increased overall gross gambling revenue in Atlantic City, it’s come at the expense of the seven other casinos. Casino win was less at all three Caesars properties in July and August 2018 compared to 2017.