Damage to the terra cotta tiles on the roof of Garden Pier have caused them to be in need of total replacement. It has been stated that the costs of fixing the roof and other damage will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As of today, there's been no settlement between the city and its insurance companies for the damage. They hope to be able to resolve that in the not-too-distant future. It is truly a shame, as Revel was ready to go ahead with an entertainment program for Garden Pier. It is all the more shameful as this is the 100th anniversary of Garden Pier.
Many of those visiting the city have little understanding of what took place in that facility when it was first developed. It housed Broadway shows with the biggest name performers in the nation. It served as a magnificent dance hall as well. As we noted recently, it was the site of the Miss America Pageant. It also served as a sports arena for boxing and wrestling.
Garden Pier's two buildings now house an art exhibit as well as a memorabilia site with pictures and items reminiscent of old time Atlantic City. Hopefully, the issue with the insurance companies will be resolved and they will be able to begin working to replace the interesting roof that gives the building a handsome look. Atlantic City's celebration of Garden Pier's 100th anniversary will have to wait for an appropriate date after the work has been completed.
Boardwalk Empire facade to move
By now, most of you are aware that Bruce Toll, owner of the former Trump World's Fair Casino site, has been very generous in allowing the building of the Boardwalk Empire facade to be on his property in front of Boardwalk Hall's West Hall.
A month or so ago, BET Investments announced that it had presented the rendering of a new project which it will develop in front of West Hall along the Boardwalk. It is currently the site of the Boardwalk Empire facade. The presentation was made to the CRDA, which has jurisdiction for planning in the Tourism District that includes the Boardwalk. It will include retail and restaurant tenants that will be announced in the not-too-distant future. The plans call for it to be open for the summer of 2014.
As a result of this project, the search has started for a place to move the Boardwalk Empire facade. It comes at an appropriate time, as there been several calls about problems with the Boardwalk Empire vinyl.
Consideration was being given to replacing it at this time, but it doesn't make sense since it needs to be moved. As to its future location, a request has been made to the owner of a site that would be appropriate and has sufficient space for what has become visitors' most photographed item in Atlantic City. Hopefully, an agreement will soon be made to make the move to one of the last sites available on the Boardwalk
Drew Katz, owner and operator of the Interstate Outdoor Advertising Company, whose company built and takes care of the Boardwalk Empire facade, has agreed to make the move at a nominal fee. We are most grateful for his continued cooperation. His local staff, under Steve Gura, has treated the facade as though it was their own. It is so good to have people like that become involved in a project and want it to be the best it can be. We are most thankful to have a company like this and its employees, who have been outstanding caretakers.
The location for Atlantic City's public marketplace has been moved a block, from Ohio Avenue to Indiana Avenue, from Pacific to Atlantic avenues. It was felt this location would bring more people from The Walk to Atlantic City's Marketplace and induce them to visit other blocks in midtown.
The budget for this project is approximately $15 million, with a $9.5 million donation from Showboat. New Jersey products will be featured with a variety of takeout items as well as sites to be able to sit and eat within the facility. The consultant process is entering its second phase. The results of this study will be reported in September.
It will outline the varied types of foods and their locations within the marketplace. There is a lot of enthusiasm and interest from potential vendors as well as the public.
Special Improvement District update
•The cleaning of under the Boardwalk continues, with fewer and fewer homeless people living there.
This may be attributed to the groups that get up at 5 o'clock in the morning to check on those who may be sleeping under the Boardwalk. They offer the people they find help to get them back into society. A conglomeration of organizations, along with the local police department, has helped reduce this problem.
•Arches have now been placed over entrances to the beach from New Hampshire avenue to one block from Albany Avenue. They are quite handsome and the name of the street is posted on both sides of the arch. On either side of the arch one will find benches and flower beds that are quite attractive. In addition, up to Texas Avenue, there have been Adirondack chairs, two on each side, that are tilted so that people can talk to one another as they sit in those very comfortable chairs. It is anticipated that the rest of the Boardwalk's arches, benches, flower beds and Adirondack chairs will be completed before summer's end.
•There are discussions taking place to establish a new comfort station that is needed at the New Hampshire avenue beach. That area has become very popular.
•One of the problems is the lack of concern from smokers who grind out their cigarette butts on the Boardwalk or throw them on the beach. In order to invite them to properly put out their cigarettes, 100 stainless steel cigarette disposal containers will be strategically placed along the Boardwalk, from one end to another. They will serve to help eliminate the tossing of butts on the Boardwalk or on the beach.
•Two large new Welcome to Atlantic City signs listing permitted bike riding hours have been placed on the Boardwalk. Will the bikers read them and obey?
Pinky's Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky's Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, "WMGM Presents Pinky," airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40.
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