In a release, the CRDA says the program, which targets derelictstructures in an area bordered by the Boardwalk and Delaware, Maineand Melrose avenues, is a pilot for possible future demolitionprojects in Atlantic City. Revel is donating funds to the programas a pre-payment against the locally based developer's AtlanticCity Housing Investment Alternative Tax obligations.

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"The South Inlet Demolition Program is consistent with some ofthe suggestions heard in the meetings held by Mayor LorenzoLangford," says Thomas Carver, CRDA's executive director, in arelease. "Many of the community and business leaders said that theperception of Atlantic City needed to be improved. This is a goodfirst step."

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The demolition of derelict buildings was one of the themessounded when business and community leaders met in Langford'soffice this past November for a summit on Atlantic City's future."We have to make Atlantic City a resort destination," Carver toldthe Press of Atlantic City before the summit. "The time islong past when we could strictly depend on the beaches andBoardwalk to draw tourists. We can't compete anymore on that basisalone."

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Carver added that clearing out abandoned buildings was necessaryto help residents and visitors alike believe that "it's a safe cityto be in." Targeting the South Inlet section near the site of the$2-billion Revel casino was cited specifically at that summit, andaccording to the Press, Carver also cited other areas inneed of beautification, including sections of Atlantic Avenue. Hesaid he'd like to see the Walk, Atlantic City's entertainment andshopping district, extended to Atlantic Avenue.

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According to the Press, Langford called the summit atCity Hall in response to a warning from Revel CEO Kevin DeSanctisthat the city's future looks grim unless a plan is developed forsaving it. "All I know is that we don't have a plan, and any planis better than no plan," DeSanctis told the Atlantic CityHospitality Trade Show on Oct. 22.

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CRDA says in the release that it has negotiated withrepresentatives of the City of Atlantic City and Revel to structurethe investment and the program criteria. Under the plan approved byCRDA, the $500,000 funds will be provided to the city via anintra-governmental agreement, with the funding provided in twoinstallements of $250,000 each. The second installment will beissued by CRDA once the fund depletes to $50,000.

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Among other things, the South Inlet Demolition Program calls fordedicated city staff for the program, start-up within 30 days froman agreement being reached with all parties, mutually agreeddemolition priorities and monthly status meetings between CRDA andcity program staff. All work will be competitively bid and awardedto qualified contractors. A spokesman for CRDA did not respond bydeadline to GlobeSt.com's inquiries for further details.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.