ATLANTIC CITY — A new hotel and restaurant are proposed for New York Avenue on the site of a currently vacant building.
Zenith Shah, one of the principals of Authentic City Partners, presented the proposal at a Thursday meeting of the land use regulation and enforcement division of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
At the meeting, held via Zoom, Shah said the project already had approvals to renovate the existing building.
But after meeting with contractors, the owners learned that option would be far more expensive than it would be to demolish and start anew.
The proposal calls for a five-story building with rooftop dining and a 300-seat restaurant on the ground floor. Between the bar and restaurant at street level and the rooftop dining would be 12 hotel rooms, what the developers describe as a boutique hotel.
The project has been dubbed The Cardinal Restaurant & Hotel.
The site at 151 New York Ave. was once home to Mama Mott’s Restaurant, which closed more than a decade ago.
More recently, it was Hideaway Atlantic City, the sign for which is still on the building. That business opened in 2015 as a comedy club with the trappings of a speakeasy.
There are signs of life on the block, including Hayday Coffee and a consignment shop in the next building, but the former restaurant has boarded windows on the top floor.
Interviewed after the meeting, Evan Sanchez, the other principal in Authentic City Partners, said the plan is to demolish the building by the end of the year and start construction as early as possible in 2022.
The total project could cost close to $5 million, he said.
The CRDA functions as the land use board for Atlantic City within the tourism district. Sanchez, who was not at the meeting, said he hopes the proposal will be approved by the full CRDA board in October.
Sanchez said the new property would not be completed for next summer and was reluctant to give a timeline for when it might be, citing the uncertainties of construction projects.
Architect Bill McLees of Somers Point said he designed the building to combine a modern look and contemporary materials with elements of classic Atlantic City architecture.
The project would be taller than the existing building. It’s part of the area known as the Orange Loop, a collection of restaurants, bars, music and other attractions on St. James, Tennessee and New York avenues named for the color of those blocks on the classic Monopoly board.
Proponents of the project argued to the CRDA that the project would not need additional parking because several adjacent properties already have plenty and the uses would overlap, especially since most were owned by the same group. Visitors would likely stop at several of the attractions, they told the land use division.
Shah and Sanchez have sought to transform the area with a series of development projects. According to Sanchez, the hotel and restaurant will be an important part of that revitalization.
On the group’s website, the project is listed as a partnership with Michael Brennan and his father, Tom Brennan. Michael Brennan had the Cardinal Bistro in Ventnor, while Tom Brennan worked in food and beverage in casinos.
Shah and Sanchez own Hayday Coffee, along with co-founder Loryn Simonsen, and other buildings in the neighborhood.
Shah and Sanchez have another project on nearby Tennessee Avenue, a 10-apartment project in the Leadership Building expected to open this month.
Contact Bill Barlow: