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ATLANTIC CITY-This seaside gaming mecca is getting its first new luxury residential condo complex in some 20 years in the form of Bella, located at the intersection of Pacific and Connecticut avenues near the Showboat Casino. The developer of the 27-story, 200-unit building is Bella Development Group, an affiliate of the New Hope, PA-based Scannapieco Development Corp.

The building itself isn’t exactly new, however. It was built 15 years ago as the Regency, the first project to be approved by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Caesar’s subsequently bought all 200 of the two-bedroom units and has been renting them out for the past 15 years. Scannapieco was the original developer of the project as well, and affiliate Bella Development Group is now the sole owner.

Tom Scannapieco, who heads the company that bears his name, sees the redeveloped property as “answering a need in a clearly defined area trend. People have long underestimated the level of sophistication at the Jersey Shore. The success of the Borgata [Casino Hotel] demonstrated the existing demand for elegant design. Bella is the first high-rise residence positioned to attract luxury buyers.

“Atlantic City is enjoying an extraordinary renaissance, carving out a new, exciting identity,” he continues.

Janet Espenshade of Espenshade Interiors, based in Bryn Mawr, PA, is designing the interior spaces and model residences. Bella Development is also working with Cope Linder Architects of Philadelphia, which designed the original building and, more recently, the Borgata. The cost of the redevelopment project hasn’t been released.

Scannapieco has a number of other ventures going on here. Most recently, his company developed a $60-million residential complex in the city’s Northeast Inlet area, a project that has been credited with attracting other developers.

He also put together a joint venture group to build the $84-million Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel, which has more than 500 guest rooms and 24,000 sf of meeting space. And he’s also a partner in Northbeach Holdings LLC, which is planning the development of a 20-acre beachfront site along the boardwalk, adjacent to the Bella site.

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