ATLANTIC CITY — Just when you think you’ve seen the last of Glenn Straub, think again.
The Florida-based developer, known for his outrageous claims, now wants to be named redeveloper of the South Inlet, despite never delivering on his promise to open the former Revel Casino Resort.
Despite no longer owning one of the state’s tallest building, Straub’s company, Polo North Country Club, still owns more than 60 properties in the resort.
“Even after the sale, Polo North is still the largest non-casino property owner on the Boardwalk,” Straub said. “We will move forward and be a spark for catalyzing positive economic movement in Atlantic City.”
Polo North owns 43 properties in the South Inlet section of the city, according to state property records, with one of the largest properties being a nearly acre-sized parcel near the Boardwalk on Rhode Island Avenue. Straub purchased the open lot, once valued at $2.8 million, for $367,430 in April 2015.
On Jan. 4, Straub sold Revel to AC OCEAN WALK, a group led by Colorado-based investor Bruce Deifik, for $200 million. The property is scheduled to reopen over the summer as Ocean Resort Casino, joining Hard Rock, which will open its new property at the former Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort site.
Straub bought the $2.4 billion Revel for $82 million in bankruptcy court in August 2015 and has said it cost about $1 million a month to keep the building running.
The developer came into the city at a time when few were looking to invest in it, said Bryant Simon, a Temple University professor and author of “Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America.”
“For 70 years, Atlantic City has been on the verge of economic decline or explosion. You are always looking for this white knight,” Simon said.
While being coy about his plans, Straub said the extension of the Boardwalk to Gardner’s Basin has made the area more attractive. The area will see increased interest as Hard Rock, Ocean Resort and The Beach at South Inlet, a residential project on a grassy 4-acre lot bound by Atlantic, Pacific, New Jersey and Connecticut avenues, open.
“This used to be the end of the Boardwalk, now it’s in the middle,” Straub said Tuesday. “This is one of three areas that we want to clean up.”
Straub said he is going to ask the city to name him the redeveloper for the area, allowing him to use condemnation to acquire other properties.
Council President Marty Small said he has not spoken to Straub about the redevelopment of the area.
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“We are not going to name anyone,” Small said. “If people are interested in development in the city, they are going to have to go through a process. It has nothing to do with Glenn Straub.”
In addition to being committed to redeveloping the South Inlet, Straub has expressed interest in purchasing Boardwalk Hall and Bader Field.
“We want to make Bader Field an airport again and use private planes to bring people in from Columbus, Youngstown or anywhere else where it’s an hourlong flight,” he said.
Despite failing to reopen the casino property during his two years of ownership, Straub invested when few were looking at Atlantic City, Small said.
“We thank Glenn for buying Revel and preventing it from becoming an eyesore,” Small said. “If he is still interested in Atlantic City, we are interested in him.”