Former Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City becomes luxury apartments

Posted on: 24 November 2022, 12:22h.

Last updated: November 23, 2022, 6:05 AM.

The closure of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in January 2014 sparked a chain reaction of resort closures in New Jersey’s beachfront gambling city. Three other Atlantic City casinos closed that same year — Showboat, Revel, and Trump Plaza — and the Trump Taj Mahal closed two years later, in October 2016.

This photo from 2019 shows the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel with shutters. The former casino has been empty since early 2014, but the current owner wants to transform the hotel rooms of the casino into luxury apartments. (Image: NJ Advance Media)

Nearly nine years after the last guests left the Boardwalk casino, a new future is dawning for the Atlantic Club.

NJ Advanced Media reported today that the property’s current owner, Rocco Sebastiani, and his New York real estate investment company, Colosseo Development Group, Inc., are looking to convert the former casino hotel into a luxury condominium complex. Details of the project will be revealed next month, Sebastiani said.

The current state of the building’s interior is unknown. But the exterior has been cited for countless security violations in recent years.

In the fall of 2017, the ceiling of the Atlantic Club’s porte-cochere collapsed. And the following spring, portions of the hotel’s exterior crumbled and fell to the Boardwalk below, endangering pedestrian safety and raising alarms about the building’s overall condition.

Atlantic Club past

The Atlantic Club, conceived and built by Steve Wynn, opened in 1980 as the Golden Club. It quickly became a Rat Pack hangout, with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. among early casino regulars.

After Wynn grew tired of New Jersey politics and decided to leave the Atlantic City gaming scene, his Mirage Resorts sold the Atlantic Club to Bally Manufacturing in 1987 and the casino was renamed Bally’s Grand.

The casino was renamed again in 1996, this time Atlantic City Hilton, after Bally Manufacturing sold the resort to Hilton Hotels. The property became ACH Casino Resort after Hilton terminated its licensing deal with Colony Capital, which acquired Atlantic City Hilton from Hilton Hotels in 2005.

As business slowed down in Atlantic City and gaming expanded to numerous states along the East Coast, the casino went through some tough times. In 2012, the casino was rebranded again as Atlantic Club in an effort to turn the resort into a locals-focused casino.

The casino officially closed its doors on January 13, 2014. The former Caesars Entertainment and the now-defunct Tropicana Entertainment jointly acquired the Atlantic Club and its assets in bankruptcy for just $23.4 million. Tropicana purchased the casino’s slot machines, table games, and player database, while Caesars retained physical ownership.

Caesars sold the Atlantic Club to a Florida real estate company called TJM Properties in May 2014 for $13.5 million. TJM held on to the vacant property until it found a buyer in Colosseo in 2019. The sale price was not made public.

Atlantic Club Future

The former Atlantic Club has been the target of a series of projects over the years. An interested buyer’s indoor water park was unsuccessfully launched in 2017, and Stockton University considered purchasing the hotel in 2018 to expand its Atlantic City campus.

The odds regarding the likelihood of the luxury condo concept being realized are vague. But clearer prospects are likely to emerge once Colosseo lays out its vision next month.

“We look forward to working in Atlantic City and restoring such an amazing property,” Sebastiani said during his 2019 purchase of the closed casino.

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