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Redevelopment project aims to give A.C. a place with a millennial vibe

Can Atlantic City become a millennial destination a la Hoboken or Jersey City?-(ATLANTIC CITY CONVENTION AND VISITORS AUTHORITY)

About seven months back, I wrote about all the goings-on in Atlantic City — its big plans, new events and how it’s improved over the past few years — only to then read week after week about a new casino closing and whisperings of bankruptcy.About seven months back, I wrote about all the goings-on in Atlantic City — its big plans, new events and how it’s improved over the past few years — only to then read week after week about a new casino closing and whisperings of bankruptcy.

Now, I’ve never been to Atlantic City, but from what I’ve seen in “Girl Most Likely” (starring “Bridesmaids’” Kristen Wiig and “Glee’s” Darren Criss) — and, you know, from all I’ve read in the news lately — it seems like it might be a pretty bleak place these days.

(Even the actors chose to avoid the place, with the movie instead using B-roll footage from the Atlantic City Convention and Visitor’s Authority.)

Click here to read more from our Millennial Minded

But the idea of Atlantic City — actual realities, I’m told, by fellow NJBIZ staffers — does indeed seem attractive.

I actually have been looking to move somewhere I could meet people by enjoying restaurants and weekly entertainment — and if it were closer, Atlantic City might have been an option.

After all, it also boasts miles of beaches, a boardwalk, a nearby airport (with cheap flights) and, of course, the remaining casinos.

But have the creation of the Tourism District in 2011, the popular “DO A.C.” campaign by the Atlantic City Alliance and the valiant efforts of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority done enough to transform Atlantic City into a town rivaling millennial-friendly locations such as Hoboken, Jersey City or Morristown?

Possibly. At least LPMG Companies and lender Alpha Funding Solutions think so.

According to The Press of Atlantic City, LPMG Companies and Alpha Funding Solutions hope to attract millennials to Atlantic City by investing $3 million into the historic 30,000-square-foot Morris Guards Armory building on New York Avenue.

Their plan is to fuse the building’s 1901 original architectural details with an urban renovated feel (very millennial-like) to provide competitively priced retail and residential units.

“I’ve always felt Atlantic City doesn’t have anything for the middle market, people who are average Joes looking for entertainment and amenity-based services,” said John Longacre, president of LPMG, in the report.

Mark Callazzo, CEO of Alpha Funding Solutions, said he came on board after learning most of his kitchen and bar staff at the Atlantic City Bottle Co. spirits shop and Iron Room restaurant lived outside the island.

“They all say there’s not really a cool, safe, affordable place for them to live in town,” Callazzo said.

So Longacre hopes to provide them with approximately 30 apartments on the upper floors of the structure — including a few micro-units, “because they’re really popular right now” — and retailers on the ground floor in which to do their shopping.

And this might actually come at a good time, with TJM properties purchasing the Atlantic Club for nongaming purposes, and Richard Stockton College purchasing Showboat for a satellite campus.

“Five years from now, Atlantic City will be an entirely different place,” Callazzo said in the report.

Renovations and construction will begin in February, with the project to be completed in about a year.

So — as it always seems to be with Atlantic City — time will tell if their ideas will be successful. 

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