ATLANTIC CITY – Bart Blatstein, the Philadelphia developer who recently struck deals for some high-profile Boardwalk properties, wants to bail on a $3.05 million winning bid for more than 64,000 square-feet of waterfront property in Atlantic City, according to court papers filed by the property’s bankrupt owner.
A representative of Blatstein’s Tower Investments Inc. made the winning bid at an October auction for three vacant lots in the city’s South Inlet section, according to court papers filed by the seller, Brielle-based MRCEM LLC.
But the representative, Martin Sizmur, who’s listed on LinkedIn as Tower’s Director of Construction, now claims in court that the auctioneer unfairly wanted to charge a $152,500 commission for conducting the auction. He wants the auction redone.
MRCEM, a privately-held company formed to buy and develop Atlantic City real estate, says the auction was fair and that Tower must forfeit a $305,000 deposit if the deal doesn’t close.
The beach-block land, fronted by the Absecon Inlet, is in the heart of an area where the Army Corps of Engineers is building a seawall and extending the Boardwalk. A 2006 plan to build a 306-unit, 420-foot luxury condo complex called The Marbella was aborted.
It’s the only real estate owned by MRCEM, which was unsuccessful in developing the land and racked up unpaid real estate taxes before filing for bankruptcy protection in February.
The company says it has a $3 million backup bid made by Roxanne Passarella. LinkedIn lists Passarella as COO of FantaSea Resorts, which runs several large Atlantic City resorts, including Flagship, adjacent to the land at issue.
Passarella could not be reached for comment Friday.
Blatstein, who runs The Playground retail-entertainment complex on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and says he will buy the former Showboat casino-hotel from Stockton University in December, did not return a call for comment.