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ATLANTIC CITY, NJ-The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, a state agency, has agreed to provide Park Place Entertainment with $33 million toward redeveloping the struggling Shops at Ocean One. Under state law governing this city’s casino-hotels, each property must contribute part of its revenues to CRDA to fund a variety of redevelopment projects around the state.

In the case of Ocean One, a 330,000-sf retail complex that sits on the former Million Dollar Pier on this gaming mecca’s boardwalk, Park Place plans to shut it down for two years to completely redevelop it as an upscale shopping and entertainment complex with 280,000 sf of GLA. Since the pier was turned into a mall resembling an ocean liner almost 20 years ago, it has perpetually struggled and its tenant mix has noticeably declined (see earlier story).

Both Park Place and CRDA officials are mum on the details of the project. A press conference has been scheduled for next week, at which time more details will be announced.

What is known is that the project will cost between $80-$100 million, and it will be connected by skywalk to Park Place’s Caesars Atlantic City Casino Hotel, which sits directly across the boardwalk. Park Place has hired Gordon Group Holdings, based in New York, to carry out the actual redevelopment work. Among Gordon’s earlier projects is the highly acclaimed Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Also, word has been leaked that Park Place wants to redo the asset with a Monopoly theme, relating to the famous board game developed by a predecessor company to Hasbro Toys back in the 1930s, featuring place and street names associated with Atlantic City. Officials have so far refused to comment publicly on that as well.

Still another expected aspect of the redevelopment will be a 3,000-space parking garage. The price tag is being placed at $60 million, and Park Place is said to be talking to the Atlantic City Medical Center about joint venturing it.

Besides Caesars, Park Place also operates Bally’s Atlantic City, the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort and the Claridge Casino Hotel here. The redevelopment of Ocean One is one of several retail projects slated for CRDA assistance here, including The Walk, an outlet center/entertainment complex being developed by the Cordish Co. of Baltimore.

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