You won't find Wilson Avenue on the Monopoly Board. It doesn't even show up on Google Maps. But Wilson Avenue does exist, virtually in the shadow of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
It's not much of an avenue. It's only one short block tucked between Providence and Hartford avenues in the city's Chelsea section. On one side of the street are four identical 1920s-era duplexes. On the other side is an old motel that has been converted into efficiency units. Those buildings all share one very desirable trait - they're less than a block from the Atlantic Ocean.
In addition to its proximity to the beach and boardwalk, Wilson Avenue is less than a block from the Atlantic Club casino hotel and a block and a half from the landmark Knife and Fork Inn.
One of the duplexes is the summer home of Sammy Piccolo, who recently finished renovating the two-story property that's no more than 50 yards from the boardwalk. It's an ideal location for Sammy, a lifelong South Philadelphia resident who has been vacationing in Atlantic City since he was as kid.
"I walk out the door and I'm just a few steps from the beach," says Sammy. "You can't beat it."
The duplex, which consists of an upstairs and downstairs unit, is actually owned by Sammy's sister, who bought the property out of foreclosure 2010. But it was Sammy who carried out the major renovation project.
"We gutted both units," Sammy says. "We took them down to the bare bones and put in all new electrical and all new plumbing. We jacked the roof up and put in all new joists."
Sammy also refinished the stucco exterior and installed new furnaces and central air conditioning in each unit. The completed units each have two bedrooms and 1½ baths. The front door in each unit opens directly into a small living room with new hardwood floors. The living rooms are open to eat-in kitchens with granite counters, slate tile floors and new cabinets and appliances.
Off the kitchen in both units is a former storage closet that has been converted into a half bath with a tile floor and pedestal sink. A small bedroom off the kitchen adjoins the master bedroom at the back of the unit. Both bedrooms have hardwood floors.
A full hall bathroom has been remodeled to include a ceramic tiled half wall, a marble topped vanity with brushed nickel faucet and a walk-in fiberglass shower. There's also a laundry nook equipped with a full-sized washer and dryer. A small back porch is accessed from the master bedroom.
Sammy and his sister currently use the second floor unit as a vacation home and rent out the first-floor unit. But a potential buyer could purchase either one.
"We'd prefer to sell the bottom one but if we get our price, we'll sell the top," Sammy says. The upper unit is listed for $200,000 while the lower unit has an asking price of $175,000.
"It's the best kept secret in Atlantic City," says Al Casalnova, a Realtor who is listing the properties. "It's a beachblock property in Atlantic City next to the Atlantic Club casino for $175,000."
For more information on these properties call Al Casalnova of Keller Williams Realty/Atlantic Shore, 609-338-9588.
Where: Atlantic City
What: Renovated duplex
Floor plan: Two bedrooms, 1½ baths
Price: $175,000, $200,000