ATLANTIC CITY — A Casino Reinvestment Development Authority offer to partially bankroll a $61 million, 250-unit apartment project in the long-dormant South Inlet section could be extended at the agency’s board meeting Tuesday.
But it remains unclear when, or if, the long-delayed project will break ground.
North Jersey developer Wasseem Boraie and NBA great Shaquille O’Neal want to build The Beach at South Inlet on an empty plot in the neighborhood, where development has stagnated for decades.
In March 2014, the CRDA’s board agreed to loan up to $30 million to the project.
Then three casinos — two bordering the South Inlet — closed. Stockton University’s plan to open its Island Campus near the neighborhood collapsed. And legislation was proposed (and is pending) to divert the CRDA’s lifeblood — the 1.25 percent Investment Alternative Tax on casino revenue — away from the agency to repay Atlantic City’s debt.
That all prompted board members to reconsider the offer.
In a May resolution, they said the loan proposal, which expires Sep. 30, can’t be finalized until they vote whether “the project remains feasible and reasonable to fund in light of the changed economic conditions.” They’re scheduled to vote Tuesday on extending the loan expiration date to Jan. 29.
“The purpose of the extension is to continue to evaluate market conditions,” CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri said Monday, citing the fact that the future of the Revel and Showboat sites, and the IAT bill, remains unclear.
Meanwhile, Boraie said he’s ready to go.
“Our Team has secured outside financing for the Beach at South Inlet Project from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and are eager to begin,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) to make this happen in a timely manner. “
The CRDA board will also be asked to give zoning approval to a “food truck pavilion” at 2701 Boardwalk, across from The Ritz. A Northfield-based company plans to install picnic tables, trash bins and lighting at the site, which is currently a parking lot.