An art-retail space at The Wave parking garage that would serve as an anchor for the Atlantic City Arts District is expected to be open by September, officials said Tuesday.
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority voted to award a $1.3 million contract to L.Feriozzi Concrete Company Inc. to construct the interior of the 17,000-square-foot space that’s expected to accommodate art studios, galleries, a museum shop and a small cafe. The Atlantic City-based company submitted one of eight bids received for the project and was the lowest responsible bidder, officials said.
CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri said the authority is anxious to see the project move forward as it would anchor “a great new precinct” for the city. Last year, officials announced that The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey would lease the space from CRDA at no cost, with its Noyes Museum of Art taking space at the site on Mississippi Avenue. The arrangement between the parties allows CRDA to profit if Stockton subleases studio and retail space to profitable operations.
“To the extent that (Stockton) gets rent, they will be paying us rent,” Palmieri said. “If there is income, we will share it in the rent receipts.”
Alex Marino, Stockton's director of operations for Dante Hall Theater and the Carnegie Library, said the college has seen tremendous interest in the space. Michael Cagno, executive director of the Noyes Museum of Art, is compiling a list of potential tenants, said Marino, adding that the college is looking for “high profile” tenants for the space.
“Some of these organizations don’t have the ability to pay fair market value. We’re going to be working with them on other types of payment — a lot of community programs, a lot of programs to attract people to Atlantic City,” Marino said. “It’s a very positive approach on a blossoming Arts District on Mississippi Avenue.”
The $30 million parking garage opened a year ago. Officials initially discussed renting out the remaining space on the first floor to other retail tenants, tying into the shopping district at Tanger Outlets The Walk. Those plans later changed as officials believed the space could be better used as a way to attract a stronger arts community to the city.
The Tourism District Master Plan calls for an Arts District in the city’s Ducktown neighborhood. Similar plans for that area, however, predate the Tourism District created by state legislation in 2011.
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