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Sean Ryan is associate editor of Real Estate New Jersey.ATLANTIC CITY-BET Investments Inc. won the bidding for the former site of Donald Trump’s World’s Fair Casino with a $25.15-million offer–beating out Trump himself. Trump Boardwalk Partners bid $25 million for the 2.5-acre lot on the Atlantic City boardwalk. A third party, Andrew Barroway, bid $21 million.

The property was subject to a Chapter 11 auction, despite Trump Hotels already emerging from bankruptcy, changing its name to Trump Entertainment Resorts. The site was originally appraised at $7.2 million. The Trump Organization had an initial bid of $14.2 million. For additional information on the reorganization, click here.

“The property was sold as an as-is purchase. It’s an all-cash purchase, it’s a very fast close, and due diligence has to be done prior to the sale, not after the sale,” says Jim Sheehan, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield’s Philadelphia branch, which marketed the property. “All those things are unusual, and as a result you end up with very serious, well-capitalized buyers.”

“It was like a high stakes poker game,” says Jerry Kranzel, also with Cushman & Wakefield. Bidding was only from 10:05 to 10:55 on Tuesday morning, but had ten rounds of increased bids. “In fifty minutes it went from $15 million to $25 million to $25.15 million.”

The property comes with a deed that bars development of a casino. Bruce Toll, founder of the Huntington Valley, PA-based BET as well as co-founder of the Horsham, Pa-based Toll Brothers construction firm, plans a mixed-use complex of condominiums and retail for the site, specifics of which have not been disclosed. “He hasn’t developed his full plan yet,” says Sheehan.

“With the building of the Borgata, there’s a whole new wave of development in Atlantic City,” Sheehan says. “It’s starting with the casinos, and now we’re starting to see a retail and residential renaissance as well. For a guy like Bruce Toll to come in for a project of this magnitude is very significant for Atlantic City. It puts a stamp that Atlantic City isn’t just a place for casino cowboys.”

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