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Deal to buy Atlantic Club falls through

Deal to buy Atlantic Club falls through

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ATLANTIC CITY — A deal by a local development group to buy the closed Atlantic Club casino and redevelop it as a water park and family resort has fallen through.

The deal died after Ventnor-based R&R Development failed to obtain the necessary financing, according to TJM Properties, which owns the property.

Ronald Young, the head of R&R Development, said an unnamed Chinese group pulled $35 million worth of funding for the project late last week.

“It was my mistake to try to do a $135 million deal in 60 days. You can’t sell a house in that period,” Young said. “I’m still committed to the property and bringing this to the Atlantic Club. I feel that this is the right vision for Atlantic City.”

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The sale of the property was touted as a sign that the city had turned the corner.

This is the second time plans to bring a water park to the site have died. In January 2016, another deal collapsed when TJM Properties asked Pennsylvania firm Endeavor Property Group to close on the casino, which has lain dormant since January 2014. Endeavor said it needed more time to secure financing.

Young’s company announced in March plans to purchase and redevelop the property into a 100,000-square-foot indoor water park, hotel, restaurants and arcade. At the time, the developer said R&R had 60 days to secure financing.

The announcement surprised the owners of the property.

“They did not inform us beforehand, and you would think they would have been sure of their financing before making it,” Dale Schooley, director of acquisitions for TJM Properties, said in a statement.

Schooley said the addition of the new 675,000-square-foot, $220 million Stockton Gateway Project and Hard Rock’s plan to open a property in the resort have made the former Steve Wynn-owned casino more attractive.

“Nonetheless, we have multiple groups looking to purchase the property and are excited by the amount of interest,” Schooley said.

Clearwater, Florida-based TJM purchased the Atlantic Club from an affiliate of casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. in May 2014 for $13.5 million. Since its closing three years ago, the vacant Atlantic Club’s only sign of life has been the reflection of tourists and locals who see themselves in its giant, black windows.

Mayor Don Guardian doesn’t expect the property to be on the market for much longer.

“The Atlantic Club is a great property,” Guardian said. “With today’s hot real estate market in Atlantic City and all the new projects going on, I don’t expect it to sit idle for very long.”

Contact: 609-272-7046 Twitter @acpresshuba


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