$2.7B Atlantic City development calls for housing, retail and motor course

Bader Field in Atlantic City, which has been closed since 2006, may soon have new life.

On Wednesday evening, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr., city council President Aaron “Sporty” Randolph and DEEM Enterprises LLC representative Dan Gallagher signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a $2.7 billion, net-zero carbon LEED Platinum community to be built on the site that will transform the Atlantic City economy. The project will include housing, retail and a motor course for residential use.

The memorandum allows for six months of research whether the company can deliver on its proposed development of the space, Small said.

DEEM’s plans for the project include:

  • 432 “motor-centric” condo units consisting of condo, townhouses and duplexes;
  • 250 midrise condos spread across three buildings of either nine or 10 stories along with automated parking for 580 vehicles;
  • Three high rises (13, 26 and 18 stories) containing 473 condo units and 160 hotel rooms with automated parking for 540 vehicles. In addition, 118,000 square feet of retail is planned;
  • Mixed-used retail with 406 units of market-rate and affordable housing. That breaks down to 307 market-rate rental apartments, 28 townhomes, 65 affordable rent apartments and six affordable townhouses. Developers also want to build 234,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, as well as pair of self-park garages with 1,008 spaces;
  • A motor club building consisting of a pro shop, members lounge, event space, restaurant and elevated walkway access;
  • Two car towers, the larger of which will have an LED display;
  • A paddock and motor club garages that will include service garages and a medical building;
  • A museum;
  • Two guardhouses.

DEEM said the design approach of this new community is rooted in resilient and sustainable design methodologies. It plans to incorporate a microgrid concept for energy generation and distribution, with the ability to utilize clean hydrogen that will serve as a model for future self-sustaining projects.

“This project won’t just change the landscape of Atlantic City, but it will give our taxpayers relief like never before,” Small said. “The ratable base will nearly double. I want to thank every city council member, our city solicitor’s office, our administrative team and the state of New Jersey, including Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and the entire Department of Community Affairs team. This is a great day in Atlantic City and a historic day in Atlantic City.”

“We are extremely happy we were able to get this agreement passed last night,” Randolph said. “We’re always going to look out for our taxpayers. Development at Bader Field has been a long, long time coming, and this just goes to show that Atlantic City is on the rise.”

In addition to the new infrastructure, Atlantic City would get $115 million as part of a deal with DEEM, up to $15 million of which would build a recreation center in the city, and up to an additional $7 million for dredging.

“What I don’t think gets discussed enough is this won’t cost the city taxpayers a dime,” Small added. “Immediately, $500,000 will be deposited into a city escrow account for professionals from the state and city to do their due diligence along the way to keep this project moving along. DEEM has a six-month window to show us what they got. This is their chance.”

“It’s been a long process,” Gallagher said. “I think the taxpayers of Atlantic City need to know what the mayor and members of council went through to make this happen. And I’m telling you, this is just the beginning. You’re going to see a lot of other projects behind this.”