The Showboat Casino was one of the Atlantic City casino casualties in 2014, but it was also one of the most coveted.
After a failed bid to open an Atlantic City campus at Showboat, Stockton University sold the property to Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein in 2016. Blatstein has been busy buying parcels of land in AC.
Blatstein reopened Showboat that same year as a non-gambling hotel (more on that in a moment) but hasn’t ruled out anything when it comes to the property. This includes reopening the property’s casino.
The next evolution of Showboat came into focus on Tuesday.
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) approved Blatstein’s plan to turn 400 of the property’s 1,100-ish hotel rooms into 264 units of market-rate housing.
The new apartments should be available in short order.
According to NJ.com, renovations will begin next month, and the units should be ready by May 2019. That’s on top of an unconnected 250-unit housing project happening across the street from Showboat. That project is expected to wrap up in short order.
Contradictory deed restrictions at Showboat Atlantic City
Showboat may have been the most coveted defunct casino in Atlantic City, but its sale was complicated. It wasn’t as complicated as Revel, but complicated nonetheless.
The issues surrounding Showboat AC were deed restrictions.
Caesars slapped a deed restriction on the property when it sold the Showboat to Stockton that prevented the property from reopening as a casino.
That wouldn’t be a big deal except for a previous deed restriction held by Trump Taj Mahal. That deed restriction prevented the property from being used as anything but a casino.
Stockton University failed to convince Trump Taj Mahal to waive its deed restriction and in stepped Blatstein.
Blatstein convinced Trump Taj Mahal to sign off on his plans for the prominently situated Boardwalk property, paving the way for Stockton University to offload the property.
Don’t feel too bad for Stockton University. The college purchased the property for $18 million in 2015 and sold it to Blatstein for $23 million the following year.
Building a Showboat AC community
Blatstein’s vision for the property is starting to come into focus, telling the Press of Atlantic City he envisions the property as a “walkable community.” That vision would include co-working spaces, food and beverage, retail, and leisure options.
“We do place-making,” Blatstein said. “We acquire a critical amount of real estate, and we start to build communities. This is another step toward building a community there.”
From the sound of it, residents will have access to the hotel’s many amenities, including 24-hour room service, spa, and pool.
Image credit: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com