An indoor marketplace resembling Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market could be among the next projects undertaken by the Casino Reinvestment Develop-ment Authority.
In September, the authority took steps toward spending $100,000 on a feasibility study to determine whether the project would be a good fit in Atlantic City. That study is moving closer to fruition as the board is expected to select a vendor for the study in January, CRDA spokeswoman Kim Butler said.
Envisioned as an enclosed space featuring small eateries, bistros, flower shops and produce vendors, the marketplace would tie into existing development in downtown Atlantic City, specifically the shopping areas Tanger Outlets The Walk.
The Tourism District’s Master Plan approved earlier this year lays out general plans for a marketplace and suggests development that would encourage more people to walk in the city.
Steps recently taken by CRDA indicate that the project is intended to be a priority. Last month, Caesars Entertainment agreed to contribute $9.5 million to the marketplace project. The contribution was announced as a condition of CRDA’s approval of $45 million for the Harrah’s conference center project.
CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri has said the project would take millions to construct and would likely span 20,000 to 40,000 square feet on an acre of land. By comparison, the Reading Terminal Market, which dates back to 1892, spans 78,000 square feet, according to its website.
Few details are known about what the Atlantic City project could look like as many specifics would be decided by the feasibility study, officials said. Exactly where the market would be located also hasn’t been decided. That will be laid out in recommendations from the study, Butler said.
Previously, Palmieri said the authority was exploring three locations, including the surface parking lot on Fairmount Avenue currently leased to the South Jersey Transportation Authority, and a location next to Boardwalk Hall. Those parcels are owned by CRDA. A third location under consideration lies between Indiana and Ohio avenues and is owned by Caesars Entertainment.
Butler said CRDA will take steps at its Dec. 18 meeting to formally accept the Caesars contribution.
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