VIDEO: Atlantic City Plays "Monopoly," as Property Sales Help City Collect FundsPosted:
ATLANTIC CITY – The Garden Pier, home of the Atlantic City Historical Museum, was sold to Bart Blatstein and Tower Inc., while Bader Field is receiving the last of their bids. Both Atlantic City property sales will help with city debt.
“The City has had wonderful things over the past 200 years, that has shown how resilient the city is," said Heather Perez, Archivist at Atlantic City Free Public Library.
“Garden Pier is wonderful, but if you know anything about the island, that’s where the island turns, we’re constantly getting beat by nor’easters there," said Mayor Guardian.
Bart Blatstein and Tower Inc. were the high bid for Garden Pier and a volleyball court next to the Showboat Casino. The Mayor says they paid just over $5 million for the two properties. Although the pier is in need of some serious reconstruction, the Mayor says changes are coming, with possibilities for a swim club, restaurants, and pub activity.
“And I think that as Bart and Tower explain what they’re going to do with the Showboat, as an expanded entertainment center, this will all come together very well," said Guardian.
“It’s been a location here that we’ve loved and enjoyed, but unfortunately, with the city selling the pier, we’re going to have to be leaving," said Perez.
The city’s Historical Museum, run by the Atlantic City Library, hopes to have a new location soon. Until they reopen, the current artifacts will be going into storage.
“We’ll be working on some new exhibits and things that will be going into our new location," said Perez.
On the other side of Atlantic City, the final bids on Bader Field were placed on Thursday. If a reasonable bid is offered, the Mayor will present it to City Council, then it will go to the State for approval.
“We’ve been talking about it, a lot of people saying they want to bid and buy it, and now there’s opportunity to come up, step up to the plate," said Guardian.
And with the two big properties getting sold, the city will see some incoming cash to help with their finances.
“The sales there will just go to the general operating fund of the City of Atlantic City. If Bader Field sells, that will be used for debt repayment. So that will have a direct impact on reducing the costs of government in Atlantic City, as we try to bring taxes down," said Guardian.
Garden Pier has played a significant part in Atlantic City’s history since 1913, and has been the home of the historical museum since the 1980s. Although the museum will soon have a new place to call home, the sale of the old pier is giving people hope for a brighter future for Atlantic City.