ATLANTIC CITY — The quiet end of the Boardwalk will be transformed next month to bring outdoor entertainment.
The old Garden Pier, at the Boardwalk in front of the shuttered Revel Casino Hotel, will become an outdoor bar and entertainment area called Pier AC as early as July, according to Jersey Boyz Production managing partner Rob Erickson.
“We see this as the next renaissance down here, on this end of the Boardwalk,” said Erickson, a managing partner for Pier AC. “We’re here to support the town.”
Bart Blatstein bought the property along with several lots in the Inlet from the city for about $6 million in February. The sites included three acres between Showboat Atlantic City hotel he owns and the former Revel.
Blatstein, a Philadelphia-based developer, bought the former Boardwalk volleyball court on New Jersey Avenue for $3.8 million, Garden Pier for $1.5 million and 12 lots bordered by the Absecon Inlet, Oriental Avenue and Dewey Place for $660,000, The Press of Atlantic City previously reported.
The managing partners from Jersey Boyz Production are leasing the space at New Jersey Avenue and Boardwalk. Blatstein declined to comment on the project Wednesday.
Pier AC will be completed in three phases. Phase one, which is expected to be completed in July, will become an outdoor entertainment environment with a stage to the left, a large bar in the center with a dance floor around it, couches and seating areas facing the ocean and rotating food vendors.
Erickson said he hopes to have it open seven days a week during the summer, but an opening date has not been set.
Phases two and three involve building and reconstructing the rest of the 55,000 square foot pier and the two buildings on it. The south building will become a sports bar and the north building will bring a sushi raw bar or restaurant, Erickson said. Both buildings will connect to the outdoor area and overlook the ocean.
The indoor spaces are expected to be built over the winter and to open by May 2018, coinciding with the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Erickson said.
City officials formally opened the new section of the Boardwalk in front of the pier June 8, which extended the boards from the closed Revel to The Ocean at 101 Boardwalk apartment building, or from Rhode Island to Oriental avenues. “Anything to push people to this end,” he said.
Pier AC would be open seven days a week during the summer, on weekends in the spring and fall and would be closed during the winter, Erickson said.
They held a job fair Tuesday that welcomed about 45 people to apply throughout the day. People could also apply online. The owners are hoping to hire 30 people for the outdoor phase and more than 70 more for the rest of the space.
The plans for Pier AC came into the city June 14, Atlantic City Planning Director Dale Finch said. The venue will be issued the electricity, plumbing and building permits from the city Wednesday to move forward, he said.
Another managing partner for the pier, Glenn Griffin, said the area has been “conducive to bringing life back to Atlantic City.”
“Instead of just getting off work and driving home, come have a beer,” Erickson said. “Come have a drink at the pier.”