ATLANTIC CITY — A new redevelopment zone in the Marina District allows multi-family housing there, paving the way for luxury housing and other projects sought by MGM Resorts International and Boraie Development.
The city’s Marina District Redevelopment Plan, approved by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority last week, also lets the city enter into redevelopment agreements and offer tax breaks and other incentives on the 82-acre property, said Lance Landgraf, the CRDA’s director of planning.
MGM and Boraie recently announced plans to build 200 luxury condo units on about 14 acres of waterfront next to Golden Nugget Casino Hotel.
The land had been zoned in the CRDA’s Tourism District Master Plan for casinos and other entertainment and commercial development but not housing, said MGM attorney Jack Plackter.
The new plan permits multi-family housing, but not single-family, he said.
MGM owns the land, as well as another 69 acres of vacant land between Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Harrah’s Resort, Plackter said.
The CRDA has authority over planning for the city’s Tourism District, which encompasses the marina district as well as the ocean blocks along the Boardwalk.
CRDA Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy said the plan has the potential to be extremely important to the city.
“It will create the marina district as almost another self-contained unit within the city,” Mulcahy said.
Plackter said it will enable the city to capture the second home market in a big way.
“The second home market is an opportunity the city has never been able to take advantage of,” Plackter said. “Why wouldn’t people who live in New York and Philadelphia want a place to walk to world-class restaurants, and to see great entertainment?”
He said MGM may seek some kind of tax relief, but “there is no current ask.”
“The taxes on a $500,000 unit in Atlantic City would be a lot of money. It might discourage second-home buyers,” Plackter said. “In order to be competitive, they may consider those kind of incentives.”
Likely buyers will not be sending kids to Atlantic City schools or utilizing municipal services like full-time residents, he said. The company has not yet narrowed down the design style, size or price range for the units, Plackter said.
The plan replaces the lapsed Huron North Redevelopment Plan, which stood for 20 years and ended in 2015.
Some of the land between Harrah’s and Borgata was once a city dump that required remediation, capping and still requires ongoing monitoring of methane vents, Plackter said.
He said he is not aware of any plans by MGM to develop that section yet, but that development of either housing or casino/entertainment facilities is possible there.
City council proposed the redevelopment plan April 10, and adopted it May 15.
“This is the CRDA consenting to what the city wants to do,” said Executive Director Matt Doherty.
Plackter said there are still some wetlands issues to be settled.
“It’s not a high-value wetland,” Plackter said, adding there are no endangered species there. “MGM, as the applicant, has to work through with the (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) to see if it is willing to issue permits.”